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SEMl-CHNTHNNIAL  HISTORY 


OF  THE 


CITY  OF  ROCHESTER 


WITH  ILLUSTRATIONS  AND  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES  OF 
SOME  OF  ITS  PROMINENT  MEN  AND  PIONEERS 


]JY 
WILLIAM    F.    PECK 


SYRACUSK,  N.  Y. 
D.   MASON  &  CO.,  PUBLISH liRS 

1 884 


J'-' 


i  \ ,} 


D.    MASON    &    CO., 

ENGRAVERS,     PRINTERS    AND    BINDERS, 

Syracuse,  N.  Y. 
1  884. 


CONTENTS. 


PAGE, 

CriAI'TER  1.  —  Ahorii^inal  Occuftation  of  I  he  Lower  Genesee  Country —  Aiitiiiuity  of 
Man — •  AiUediluviaii  Relics  —  Tlie  Ancient  Ueach  of  Lake  Ontario  Inhabited  by 
Man,  -         II 

CHAPTER  II.  —  Surface  Geology — The  Great  Sea — Origin  of  the  Genesee  River  — 

Great  Age  of  the  Lake  Ridge  —  Man's  Antiquity  in  the  Genesee  Country,  i6 

CHAPTER  \\\.— Ancient  Races— IX^t  Mound-builders  — The  White  Woinan  of  the 
Genesee  —  Traditions  of  the  Red  Men  —  Presence  of  a  Pre-historic  People  in  the 
Genesee  Valley,  and  about  Irondequoit  Bay  —  The  Ridge  Mounds  and  Relics  — 
Ancient  Landings  on  the  Genesee  —  A  Race  of  Large  Men,       -  20 

CHAPTER  IV. —  The  Red  Men  —  Their  Traditional  Origin  and  Occupation  of  New 
York  —  Dispersion  of  the  Tribes  —  League  of  the  Iroquois  —  Vale  of  the  Senecas 

—  Ancient  Nations  of  the  Genesee  Country,  28 
CHAPTER  V. —  Water  Trails  —  Terminology  of  the  Genesee  River  and  Irondequoit 

Bay  —  Little  Beard's  Town  —  Casconchagon  —  The  Jesuits — Indian  Expedition 
up  the  Genesee  —  The  Mouth  of  the  Genesee  Practically  at  Irondequoit  Bay  — 
Early  Maps  —  Teoronto  Bay  —  Mississauge  Indians  the  Last  at  Irondequoit,  32 

CHAPTER  VI. — Local  Trails  of  the  Genesee — Indian  Fords,  Towns  and  Fortifica- 
tions—  Butler's  Rangers — Indian  Spring  —  Sacrifice  of  the  White  Dog  —  Flint 
Quarry  —  Sgoh-sa-is-thah  —  Portage  Trails — Irondequoit  Landing — The  Tories' 
Retreat  —  Indian  Salt  Springs  —  Ancient  Mounds,  36 

CHAPTER  VII.  —  Early  French  Missions  —  Tsonnonlouan  —  The  Jesuit's  Escape  — 
La  Salle  at  Irondequoit — Struggle  between  the  French  and  English  for  Possession 
of  the  Lower  Genesee  country,  47 

CHAPTER  VIII.  —  DeNonville's  Expedition  —  Treachery  of  the  French  Governor- 
General —  Magnanimity  of  the  Iroquois  —  French  Army  at  Irondequoit  —  Execu- 
tion of  Marion  —  The  Fort  on  the  Sand-bar  —  The  March  on  Gannagaro  —  The 
Defiles,  Ambuscade  and  Battle  —  Horrors  of  Indian  Warfare  —  Cannibalism  —  De- 
struction of  the  Seneca  Towns,  50 

CHAPTER  IX. —  Totiahton  —  lis  Ancient  and  Modern  History — DeNonville's  Return 

Route  to  the  Sand-bar,  57 

CHAPTER  X.  —  Strength  of  the  Iroquois  —  A  Terrible  Revenge  —  French  Invasions 

—  Irondequoit  a  Place  of  Great  Importance  in  Colonial  Times  —  Fort  des  Sables 

—  Charlevoix  Describes  the  Casconchiagon  —  Captain  Schuyler  Builds  a  Trading- 
House  at  Irondequoit  Landing  —  His  Official  Instructions  —  Oliver  Culver  Discov- 
ers the  Ruins  of  the  Trading-House  —  Senecas  Sell  the  Lower  Genesee  Country  to 
the  King  of  England  —  British  Armies  at  Irondequoit,  -        61 


Contents. 


I'AGE. 

CHAPTER  XI. —  The  Senecas'  Castles  on  the  Genesee  —  Treaty  of  Peace  with  the  Eng- 
lish—  Decline  of  Iroquois  Power  —  Sullivan's  Campaign  against  the  Senecas  — 
Fate  of  Lieutenant  Boyd  —  Sullivan's  Troops  on  the  Site  of  Rochester,  69 

CHAPTER  XII. —  The  White  Man's  Occupancy  of  the  Genesee  Cotmtry  —  The  Native 

Title  Extinguished  —  Indian  Reservations —  Present  Indian  Population,  73 

CHAPTER  XIII.—  The  Genesee  Fall's  Mill  Zo/— The  Triangle  — Ebenezer  Allan's 
One-Hundred-Acre  Tract  —  The  Stone  Ridge— Peter  Sheffer— Allan's  Mills  — 
The  Mill  Stones — Jenuhshio,  or  "Indian  '  Allan  — The  First  White  Settler- 
First  Grist  Mill  in  the  Genesee  Valley — Allan's  Deed  to  Benjamin  Barton  —  Close 
of  Allan's  Career — His  Son  Claims  the  One-Hundred-Acre  Tract,  75 

CHAPTER  yi\S!.  — Early  Settlers  — Z\\x\Aa\)\\tx  Dugan  —  Colonel  Fish^The  First 
Dwelling-House  — Maude's  Visit  to  Genesee  Falls  in  1800  — Destruction  of  the 
Allan  Mills  — The  Old  Mill  Stones  — Rochester,  Fitzhugh  and  Carroll  Purchase 
the  One-Hundred-Acre  Tract—  Early  Towns  and  Pioneers,  85 

CHAPTER  XV.  —  The  Rochester  Post-Office,  9° 

CHAPTER  XVI.—  The  Birth  of  Rochester —K^^sons  for  Its  Tardy  Settlement  — 
Prevalence  of  Diseases  in  this  Part  of  the  Country  —  Dr.  Ludlow  on  Typhoid  Pneu- 
monia—  The  First  House  on  the  West  Side  of  the  River  —  The  War  of  181 2  — 
Attempted  Intimidation  at  Charlotte  —  The  Projected  Invasion  Abandoned  — 
Erection  of  the  Red  Mill,  the  Cotton  Factory,  etc.  —  Census  of  181 5  —  The  First 
Newspaper,  97 

CHAPTER  XVII.  —  Rochester  as  a  village  —  lis  Incorporation  in  1817  —  The  First 
Village  Election  —  The  First  Church  Built  —  The  Commerce  with  Canada — Set- 
tlement of  Carthage  —  The  Great  Bridge  there  —  Its  Fall,  and  that  of  Other  Bridges 

—  Surveys  for  the  Erie  Canal  —  Monroe  County  Erected  —  Building  of  the  Old 
Aqueduct  —  The  Old  Court-House  —  John  (2uincy  Adams,  108 

CHAPTER  XVIU.— The  Growth  of  the  Village —  The.  First  Bank  in  Rochester  — 
The  First  Presbyterian  Church  —  La  Fayette's  Visit  to  Rochester  —  The  Abduc- 
tion of  William  Morgan  —  The  Excitement  in  Rochester  and  Elsewhere  —  Trial, 
Confession  and  Punishment  of  the  Original  Abductors  —  Other  Trials  in  Different 
Counties  —  Anti-Masonic  Party  Formed  —  Bitterness  of  Feeling  Engendered  — 
The-Body  Found  at  Oak  Orchard  —  Morgan  or  Monroe,  Which  ?  —  Perhaps  Neither 

—  The  First  Village  Directory  —  The  Fate  of  Catlin  —  The  Leap  of  Sam  Patch  — 
The  Mormon  Bible  —  The  First  Cholera  Year  —  St.  Patrick's  Day  in  1833,  118 

CHAPTER  XIX.  —  Rochester  as  a  City — Its  Incorporation  in  1834  —  Organisation  of 
the  Government  and  Inauguration  of  Mayor  Child  —  He  Conscientiously  Resigns 
the  Office  — The  River  Steamboat  —  The  Flood  of  1835  — The  Navy  Island  Raid 

—  The  First  Murder  in  the  County  —  The  First  Foundry  —  Anti-Slavery  Move- 
ments —  Bringing  the  Bones  of  Patriot  Soldiers  to  Mount  Hope  —  The  Printer's 
Festival  —  Mexican  War  Volunteers  —  Woman's  Rights  Convention,  128 

CHAPTER  XX. —  The  City's  Progress  to  the  War  Time  —  Visit  of  Fillmore  and  His 
Cabinet,  and  of  Daniel  Webster — Singing  of  Jenny  Lind  —  Civic  Festival  in  1851 
;— Building  the  New  Court-House  —  The  Meridian  of  Rochester  —  The  Mock 
Funeral  of  Henry  Clay — The  Cholera  in  1852  — The  Ira  Stout  Murder — The 
"Irrepressible  Conflict"  —  De  Lave's  Rope-Walking — Death  of  ex-Mayors  Allen 
and  Child,  -  -  -  -  -       140 

CHAPTER  XXI.  —  The  War  Time  and  Beyond—  Breaking  out  of  the  Rebellion  — 
The  Call  for  Volunteers  —  Enthusiastic  Response  from  Monroe  County  — Forma- 
tion of  the  Old  Thirteenth  and  Other  Regiments  —  Support  of  the  Government 


Contents. 


PAGE. 

during  the  War,  and  Rejoicing  over  the  Return  of  Peace  —  The  Mock  Funeral  of 
Abraham  Lincoln  —  The  Oil  Fever  and  the  Western  Union  Excitement  —  The 
Flood  of  1865  —  Performances  of  the  Fenians  —  "  Swinging  around  the  Circle"  — 
Seth  Green's  Fish-Culture,  -  -  149 

CHAPTER  Y.yA\.— -To  the  Fiftieth  Birthday  — T\\^  Howard  Riot  —  The  Small-Pox 
and  Other  Diseases  —  The  New  City  Hall  —  Mount  Hope  Records  Found  in  Can- 
ada—John Clark's  Murder  of  Trevor  — The  Centennial  Celebration  of  1876  — 
The  Railroad  Strike  of  1877  — The  Mock  Funeral  of  President  Garfield  — The 
Cunningham  Strike  —  The  Telegrapher's  Strike  —  Principal  Improvements  in  the 
City  in  1883,  with  their  Cost  — Other  Statistics,  -  -  -       158 

CHAPTER  XXIII. —  The  Great  Celebration  —  Preparations  for  the  Event — Services  in 
the  Churches  on  Sunday  —  Opening  Salute  on  Monday  —  The  Literary  Exercises 

—  The  Pyrotechnic  Display — Reception  of  Guests  —  The  Great  Parade  — The 
Banquet  —  The  Toasts — The  Close,        -  -  -  -       174 

CHAPTER  XXIV. —  The  City  Government — The  Present  Officers  —  The  Common 
Council  —  The  Board  of  Education  —  The  City  Debt  —  The  Tax  Levy  for  the 
Present  Year  —  The  Municipal  Court  —  The  Police  Board  — The  Executive  Board 

—  The  County  Officers  —  The  United  States  Officials,     -  -  -  179 
CHAPTER  XXV.— 77^^   Civil  Zw^  — The   Village   Trustees  —  The   Mayors  — The 

Boards  of  Aldermen  —  The  City  Treasurers  —  The  Police  Justices —  The  City  Su- 
pervisors—  The  Sheriffs  —  The  County  Clerks  —  The  County  Treasurers  —  The 
State  Senators  —  The  Members  of  As.sembly  —  The  Members  of  Congress,  184 

CHAPTER  XXVI.—  The  Fire  Department  —  Its  History  from  the  Beginning —The 
Apparatus  in  Early  Times  —  The  First  Fire  Company  —  The  Old  Volunteer  De- 
partment—  Its  Glories  and  its  Misdeeds  —  The  Protectives,  Alerts  and  Actives  — 
The  Firemen's  Benevolent  Association  —  Dedication  of  the  Monument  —  List  of 
Chiefs  and  Assistants  —  The  Fire  Record,  .  .  -  201 

CHAPTER  yjC^W.  — Libraries  and  Literature  — Thi^  First  Public  Library  — The 
Franklin  Institute  —  The  Athenaeum — The  Central  Library  —  The  Law  Library  — 
The  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  —  The  Literary  Union  —  "The  Club"  — 
The  Fortnightly  —  The  Shakespeare  Club,  -  -  216 

CHAPTER  XXVIU.— Associations  — Scie^itific,  Social,  Political,  etc.— T\\c  Aca.A&' 
my  of  Science  —  The  Rochester  Club  —  The  Rochester  Whist  Club  —  The  Eureka 
Club  — The  Abelard  Club  — The  Mutual  Club  — The  Celtic  Club  — The  Com- 
mercial Traveler's  Club  —  The  Irish  National  League  — ■  The  Civil  Service  Reform 
Association  —  The  Lincoln  Club  —  The  Riverside  Rowing  Club  —  The  Canoe 
Club,  -  -  222 

CHAPTER  XXIX.—  The  Erie  Canal— Its  Origin  — Vague  Ideas  of  Gouverneur  Mor- 
ris—  Definite  Conception  of  Jesse  Hawley  —  Legislative  Action  in  1808  —  De  Witt 
Clinton  Appears  —  Canal  Commissioners  Appointed  in  1816 — Myron  Holley  and 
His  Great  Services  —  Important  Meeting  at  Canandaigua  —  Opposition  at  Albany 

—  Work  Begun  July  4th,  1817  —  The  Canal  Completed  October  24th,  1825  —  The 
Grand  Celebration  —  Enlargement  of  the  Canal  —  Great  Convention  in  this  City  — 
Canal  Statistics  —  The  Genesee  Valley  Canal,  -.  -  -      228 

CHAPTER  XXX.—  The  Forces  of  Nature  — The.  Electric  Telegraph  —  Construction 
of  the  O'Rielly  Lines  —  Transformation  into  the  Western  Union  —  Other  Tele- 
graph Companies  Here  —  The  Telephone  —  Gas  and  Electric  Light — -Coal  — 
Its  Introduction  as  Fuel  in  Rochester — Insurance  Companies  Here,  Past  and 
Present,  -       238 


Contents. 


PAGE. 

CHAPTER  XXXI. —  The  Churches  of  Rochester  —  Earliest  Organisation  of  Religious 
Societies  in  the  Settlement  —  The  Presbyterian  Churches  —  The  Episcopal  Churches 

—  The  Friends,  or  Quakers  —  The  Baptist  Churches  —  The  Methodist  —  The  Ro- 
man Catholic — The  Unitarian  —  The  German  Lutheran,  Evangelical  and  Re- 
formed—  The  Congregational  —  The  Jewish  —  The  Universalist  —  The  Second 
Advent  —  Other  Churches,  -  243 

CHAPTER  XXXn.—  The  Early  Schools  of  Jioches/er  —  HnWah  M.  Strong's  School 
in  1813  —  Limited  Educational  Resources  —  Meagerness  of  State  Appropriation  — 
Old  District  Number  i,  and  First  Male  Teacher  —  Mill  Street  a  Fashionable  Quar- 
ter of  Rochester  —  Maria  AUyn's  School  in  1820— jFairchild  and  Filer's  Latin  and 
English  School  —  Lyman  Cobb's  School,  Spelling-Bobk  and  Dictionary  —  The 
Manual  Labor  School  —  The  Rochester  High  School  —  The  Schools  of  Misses 
Black  and  Miss  Seward,  West  Side  of  the  River  —  Rochester  Female  Academy  — 
Seward  Female  Seminary  —  Other  Institutions  of  Learning,         -  296 

CHAPTER  XXXUl.—  The  Ptiblic  Schools  — The  First  Board  of  Education  —  The 
School  Census  in  1841  — The  Modern  High  School  —  Free  Schools  Established  in 
1849  —  Opposition  to  the  System  —  The  Difficulties  Surmounted  —  The  Common 
Schools  of  the  City  — A  Sketch  of  Each  One,  317 

CHAPTER  XXXIV.—  The  Medical  Profession  —  nea.\th  of  Rochester  in  the  Early 
Days  —  Longevity  of  the  Pioneers  —  Efficient  Sewerage  of  the  Village  —  Dr.  Jonah 
Brown,  the  First  Practitioner —  High  Tone  of  the  Profession  at  that  Time  —  Form- 
ation of  the  Monroe  County  Medical  Society — Its  Officers  and  its  Members  — 
Stringent  Provisions  of  its  Constitution  —  Biographical  Sketches  of  Deceased 
Physicians,  -  -  "331 

CHAPTER  XXXV.  —  Homoeopathy  and  Dentistry  —  Early  Homoeopathic  Physicians  — 

Their  Advent  and  Influence  —  The  Practice  of  Dentistry  —  Advance  of  the  Art,       340 

CHAPTER  XXXVI.—-  The  Press  of  ^oc/^^/^r  —  Early  Journalism  —  The  Gazette  — 
The  Telegraph — The  Advertiser,  with  its  Various  Absorptions  —  Sketch  of  the 
Union  and  Advertiser  —  Notices  of  its  Representative  Men  —  The  Anti-Masonic 
Inquirer  ^nA  Thurlow  Weed  —  The  Democrat  —  The  American  —  The  Chron- 
icle—  Continued  History  of  the  Democrat  and  Chronicle  —  Sketches  of  those 
Prominently  Associated  with  It  —  Various  Dead  Newspapers,  from  1828  to  1884  — 
The  Express  and  Post-Express  —  The  Morning  If erald— Sunday  Journalism  in 
Rochester — German  Journalism  —  Agricultural-  Publications  —  Religious  Papers 

—  Papers  Connected  with  Institutions  —  The  Labor  Reformers  —  Concluding  Ob- 
servations, -  343 

CHAPTER  XXXVII.  —  Rochester  Judges  and  Lawyers —  HsirXy ^V)a.ys  —  The.  First 
Lawyer  — Erection  of  the  County  —  Building  of  the  First  Court-House  —  Earliest 
Sessions  of  Court  —  Circuit-Riding  —  The  Circuit  Court  —  The  Vice-Chancellor's 
Court  —  The  Court  of  Appeals  —  The  Supreme  Court  and  its  Justices  —  The 
County  Courts  and  Judges  —  Special  County  Judges  —  The  Surrogate's  Court  — 
Mayor's  Court  —  District  -  Attorneys  —  The  Rochester  Bar — A  List  of  its  Mem- 
bers, -  -  -       366 

CHAPTER  XXXVin.—  The  Secret  Societies  of  Rochester —  YK&m?isonry  \n  the  Vil- 
lage—  Institution  of  Wells  Lodge  in  1817  —  Growth  of  the  Order — Histoiy  of  the 
Lodges,  Chapters,  Councils,  etc.  —  Monroe  Commandery — Its  Drill  Corps  —  Cy- 
rene  Commandery  —  The  Scottish  Rite  —  Lodges  of  Perfection  —  Masonic  Relief 
Association — The  Odd  Fellows  —  History  of  the  Lodges  of  this  City  —  The  Good 
Work  of  the  Order  — The  Knights  of  Pythias  —  Ancient  Order  of  United  Work- 
men —  The  Foresters  —  The  Elks  —  Other  Secret  Societies,        -  38 1 


Contents.  .  ,  s 


PAGE. 

CHAPTER  XXXIX.  —  C/^arz'O/  and  Benevolenc6 —  The  City  Hospital  — St.  Mary's 
Hospital  —  The  Female  Charitable  Society  —  The  Monroe  County  Bible  Society  — 
The  Rochester  Orphan  Asylum  —  The  Catholic  Orphan  Asylum  —  The  Jewish 
Orphan  Asylum — The  Home  for  the  Friendless  —  The  Industrial  School  —  The 
Church  Home  —  The  Home  of  Industry  —  The  Deaf  Mute  Institution — The  Hu- 
mane Society —  The  Alms  House  —  The  Insane  Asylum,  ■  403 

CHAPTER  XL.—  The  Home  Guard  — K  Glance  at  the  Rochester  Militia,  from  the 
Earliest  Days  Down  to  the  Present  Times  —  The  First  Rifle  Company  and  Regi- 
ment—  The  Irish  Volunteers  —  The  Pioneer  Rifles  and  the  Battle  of  "Tod-Wad- 
dle"—  The  Grays  and  Cadets,  and  the  Battle  of  Lyell  Bridge  —  Other  Organisa- 
tions and  Bloodless  Encounters  —  The  Militia  During  the  War  —  The  Disbandment 
in  1881,  -  -  -      429 

CHAPTER  XLI.  —  The  Cemeteries  of  Rochester —  Iht  Early  Cemeteries  of  the  Village 
and  the  City  —  The  Burial-Places  on  the  East  and  West  Sides  —  Negotiations  for 
a  New  Ground — Abandonment  of  the  Old  Places,  and  Transfer  to  Mount  Hope 

—  Description  of  the  Cemetery — ^The  Old  Catholic  Burial-Ground  —  Necessity  for 
a  New  Place  of  Interment  —  Purchase  of  the  Land  and  Consecration  of  the  Ground 

—  Description  of  the  Holy  Sepulcher  Cemetery,  -  -  -  -  438 
CHAPTER  XLII.  —  Amtisements  in  Rochester — The  Entertainments  of  Early  Days  — 

The  First  Circus  —  Its  Change  into  a  Play-House  —  The  First  Theater  —  Mr. 
Whittlesey's  Prize  Address  —  Edmund  Kean's  Appearance  and  his  Speech  — 
Dean's  Theater  —  The  Rochester  Museum  —  Concert  and  Other  Halls  —  Corinth- 
ian Hall  and  Academy  of  Music  —  The  Grand  Opera  House  —  The  Driving-Park 

—  The  Exploits  of  the  Track  —  State  Fairs  and  Shoots,  .  -      450 
CHAPTER  XLIIL— r//^    Underground  Railroad —Tht   Flying  Bondmen  — Their 

Miseries  in  Servitude,  their  Privations  while  Escaping  —  Their  Arrival  in  Roches- 
ter and  their  Transit  to  Canada  —  The  First  Rendition  of  a  Fugitive  —  Her  Res- 
cue, her  Recapture,  and  her  Liberation  by  Suicide  —  No  other  Slave  ever  Returned 
from  Rochester  —  Scenes  and  Incidents  of  the  Harboring  of  Negroes—  General 
Reflections,  .  -.  -  458 

CHAPTER  XLIV. —  The  Banks  of  Rochester  —  Banking  Facilities  in  Early  Days  — 
Establishment  of  the  Bank  of  Rochester — The  Bank  of  Monroe  —  The  Rochester 
City  Bank  —  The  Bank  of  Western  New  York  —  The  Commercial  Bank  —  The 
Farmers'  and  Mechanics'  Bank  —  The  Rochester  Bank  —  The  Union  Bank  —  The 
Eagle  Bank  —  The  Manufacturers'  Bank  —  The  Traders'  Bank — The  Flour  City 
Bank  ■ —  The  Monroe  County  Bank  —  The  Perrin  Bank  —  The  Bank  of  Monroe  — 
The  Bank  of  Rochester  and  the  German  American  Bank — The  Commercial 
National  Bank  —  The  Merchants'  Bank  —  The  Private  Banks  —  The  Savings 
Banks,  -  463 

CHAPTER  XLV. —  The  Railroads  of  Rochester  —  The  Beginning  of  Railroads  — 
The  First  One  Laid  in  America  —  The  Rochester  and  Carthage  Railroad  —  The 
Tonawanda  Railroad  —  The  Auburn  and  Rochester  Road  —  The  Niagara  Falls 
Road  —  The  Rochester  and  Syracuse  Road^ — Consolidation  into  the  New  York 
Central  —  The  Elevated  Tracks  —  The  Genesee  Valley  Road  —  The  Rochester  and 
Pittsburg  Road  —  The  Bay  Railroad  — The  Belt  Railroad  — The  Valley  Canal 
Railroad  —  The  Street  Railroad,  -  -      472 

CHAPTER  XLVI.  —  Rochester's  German  Element— Tht  First  German  Immigration 
to  the  Genesee  Valley — Indentured  Colonists  Followed  by  Voluntary  Immigrants 

—  The  Settler's  Career  of  Industry  —  His  Social  and  Religious  Life  —  He  Becomes 

a  Citizen  and  a  Soldier,  -  _  .  ■         .  481 


Contents.  —  Biographical  Sketches. 


PACE, 

CHAPTER  XLVn.  —  Reformatory  and  Correctional —  The  Western  House  of  Refuge 

—  Full  Description  of  tiie  Institution  —  Its  History  from  tlie  Beginning — The 
Monroe  County  Penitentiary  —  The  County  Jail,  -  -  497 

CHAPTER  XLVIII.  —  The  Rochester  Rappings  —  Sounds  Heard  at  Hydesville  — The 
Fox  Family — Doings  on  March  31st,  1848  —  First  Supposed  Intelligent  Response 

—  Mrs.  Leah  Fish  and  Her  Investigations  —  The  Fox  Girls  Separated  —  Rappings 
on  the  Boat — Investigation  in  Rochester  and  Use  of  the  Alphabet  —  Public  In- 
vestigation Urged  —  Committee  Selected  —  Corinthian  Hall  Investigation  —  Re- 
ports of  Committees,  etc.,  ...  -  -  508 

CHAPTER  XLIX.—  The  Fine  Arts  in  Rochester —  'S,)f^X.cVt?.  of  the  Early  Painters  of 
Rochester  —  Art  Exhibitions  here  in  Former  Days  —  The  Sculptors  and  the  Arch- 
itects—  Engravingoh  Wood,  Copper  and  Stone — Photography  —  Music  and  the 
Musicians  —  The  Art  Club  and  the  Art  Exchange,  -       518 

CHAPTER  L. —  The  University  and  the  Theological  Seminary — Madison  University 

—  Plans  for  its  Removal  —  A  New  University  Established  at  Rochester — Its 
Founders  and  Trustees  —  Its  Influence  on  the  City  —  Its  Course  of  Study — Its 
Lectures,  its  Library  and  its  Museums — Its  Benefactors  and  its  Buildings  —  The 
Theological  Seminary  —  Full  Description  of  the  Institution,  531 

CHAPTER  \A.—  The  War  Record— WhaX  Rochester  Did  to  Save  the  Nation  — The 
Regiments  and  Other  Organisations  Raised  in  the  City  and  Sent  to  the  Field  —  A 
Brief  Account  of  their  Service  —  Their  Achievements  and  their  Losses  —  The  Gen- 
eral Officers  from  the  City  —  The  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  555 

CHAPTER  LII.—  The  Rochester  Water  Worhs  —  The  Necessity  of  a  Water  Supply 
for  the  City —  Early  Plans  for  Furnishing  it  —  The  Company  of  1852  —  Its  Failure 
and  the  Report  of  the  Expert  —  Works  Finally  Constructed  by  the  City  —  Full  Ac- 
count of  their  Operation  —  Tests  Made  in  1874  —  A  Remarkable  Exhibition  — 
Sources  of  a  Water  Supply — The  Lakes  and  the  Reservoirs  —  The  Holly  Works, 
the  Pump  House  and  the  Machinery  —  The  Telephone  to  Hemlock  Lake  —  Total 
Cost  of  the  Work  —  Analysis  of  the  Water,     -  577 

CHAPTER  LIII.  —  Rochester  Manufactures — ^^  Diver.sified  Nature  of  Her  Industries  — 
Early  Prophecies  Fulfilled,  with  some  Variation  —  Her  Water  Power  and  Flouring 
Mills  of  Minor  Consideration  in  the  List  of  Enterprises  —  Clothing,  Shoes,  Iron 
Work,  Machinery,  Wood  Work,  Flour,  Beer,  and  a  Wide  Range  of  Miscellaneous 
Articles  in  the  List,  598 

CHAPTER  LI  v.  — Biographical,  647 


BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES. 


I'AOK. 

Anderson,  Martin  B.,  LL.  D., .__   676 

Bronson,  Amon, - -ji^ 

Child,  Jonathan, 686 

Clarke,  Freeman, , 647 


Biographical  Sketches.  —  Illustrations. 


PAGE. 

Cox,  Patrick, 649 

Dewey,  Chester,  D.  D.,  LL.  D., : 650 

EUwanger,  George, _ :.. 700 

Erickson,  Aaron, 698 

Gardiner,  Hon.  Addison, ..: 653 

Gorsline,  William  Henry, , 687 

Greenleaf,  Hon.  Halbert  Stevens, _ 705 

Hatch,  Jesse  W., 656 

Hill,  Charles  J., 659 

Moore,  Dr.  E.  M., 715 

Morgan,  Hon.  Lewis  Henry,  LL.  D., 723 

Moses,  Schuyler, 661 

Mumford,  George  H., .  6g8 

Mumford,  William  W., _  697 

Northrop,  Nehemiah  B., - _ : 663 

Pancost,  Edwin, ■ 685 

Parsons,  Hon.  Cornelius  R., yig 

Peck,  Everard, (S64. 

Raines,  George, yi8 

Reynolds,  Abelard, 600 

Reynolds,  Mortimer  F., _ 604 

Reynolds,  William  Abelard, 602 

Riley,  Ashbel  Wells, _  55  e 

Rochester,  Nathaniel, _ 56g 

Selden,  Henry  Rogers, _  ygq 

Seward,  Jason  W., _ 6-2 

Smith,  Hon.  Erasmus  Darwin,  LL.  D., gyg 

Sibley,  Hon.  Hiram, -Qg 

Warner,  Hulbert  Harrington, _ ggj 

Whitney,  George  J., 6y^ 

Wood  worth,  Chauncey  B., g- . 

Yates,  Arthur  G., _  gg- 


ILLUSTRATIONS. 


PAGE. 


Anderson,  Martin  B.,  LL.  D.,  portrait, facing  538 

Bronson,  Amon,  portrait, facing  713 

Child,  Jonathan,  portrait, facing  130 

Clarke,  Freeman,  portrait, facing  468 


8  Illustrations, 


TAGE. 

Cox,  Patrick,  portrait, facing  649 

Deed  given  by  Ebenezer  Allan,  fac  simile  of, 82,  83 

Dewey,  Chester,  D.  D.,  LL.  D.,  portrait,. _. facing  310 

Ellwanger,  George,  portrait,  - - - - '.facing  486 

Erickson,  Aaron,  portrait, - .  .facing  422 

Gardiner,  Hon.  Addison,  portrait, - facing  370 

Gorsline,  William  H.,  portrait, facing  688 

Greenleaf,  Hon.  Halbert  Stevens,  portrait, facing  705 

Hatch,  Jesse  W.,  portrait, facing  246 

Hill,  Charles  J.,  portrait,. . - .  -  ..facing  202 

Indian  Pipes,.. , 24,  25 

Indian  Skull, . 25 

Lower  Falls,  1768,.: ., facing     64 

Moore,  Dr.  E.  M.,  portrait, facing  334 

Morgan,  Hon.  Lewis  Henry,  LL.  D.,  portrait, facing  168 

Moses,  Schuyler,  portrait, facing  186 

Mumford,  George  H.,  portrait, . . facing  404 

Mumford,  William  W.,  portrait, facing  464 

Northrop,  Nehemiah  B.,  portrait, . . . facing  663 

Pancost,  Edwin,  portrait, facing  685 

Parsons,  Hon.  Cornelius  R.,  portrait, facing  716 

Peck,  Everard,  portrait, facing  uo 

Post-office,  The  First  in  Rochester, 96 

Raines,  George,  portrait, facing  718 

Reynolds,  Abelard,  portrait, .facing    92 

Reynolds,  Mrs.  Abelard,  portrait, .facing  176 

Reynolds,  Mortimer  F.,  portrait, facing  218 

Reynolds,  William  Abelard,  portrait, facing  160 

Riley,  Ashbel  Wells,  portrait, .facing  430 

Rochester,  map  ofini8i4, facing     97 

Rochester,  map  of  in  1827, facing  124 

Rochester,  map  of  in  1838, between  132,  133 

Rochester,  Nathaniel,  portrait, frontis  piece 

Seward,  Jason  W.,  portrait,. facing  306 

Sibley,  Hon.  Hiram,  portrait, facing  238 

Totiakton  and  Vicinity,  map  of, _ 58 

Upper  Falls,  1768, facing     64 

Warner,  Hulbert  Harrington,  portrait, facing  681 

Whitbeck,  Dr.  J.  W.,  portrait, _  .facing  406 

Whitney,  George  J.,  portrait, ^ .facing  675 

Woodworth,  Chauncey  B.,  portrait, facing  264 

Yates,  Arthur  G.,  portrait, facing  695 


PREFACE. 


To  the  Citizens  of  Rochester: — 

This  book  tells  its  own  story,  but  a  few  words  with  regard  to 
its  compilation  are  deemed  appropriate.  Its  editor  or  author — for 
while  he  is  less  than  the  latter  he  is  certainly  more  than  the  former — 
has  given  full  credit  in  the  running  pages  to  all  those  who  assisted 
him  by  the  preparation  of  complete  chapters  or  of  portions  of  chap- 
ters to  any  appreciable  degree.  To  those  who  have  aided  by  giving 
information  when  it  was  sought,  by  confirming  previous  impressions 
or  by  correcting  erroneous  conclusions,  no  reference  by  name  is 
necessary ;  they  will  find  their  satisfaction  in  the  knowledge  that 
their  help  has  been  utilised  and  that  they  have  contributed  to  the 
preservation,  in  this  form,  of  facts  that  would  otherwise  grow  con- 
stantly more  difficult  to  obtain.  With  the  hope  that  the  volume 
will  stand  as  an  enduring  record  of  Rochester,  from  the  earliest 
times  in  which  can  be  found  a  trace  of  human  life  in  this  locality  to 
the  fiftieth  birthday  of  the  city,  the  compiler  presents  this  work  to 
the  consideration  of  his  fellow-citizens. 
Rochester,  N.  Y.,  September  23//,  1884. 


HISTORY 


OF   THE 


CITY  OF  ROCHESTER. 


CHAPTER  I. 

ABORIGINAL  OCCUPATION  OF  THE  LOWER  GENESEE  COUNTRY.' 
Antiquity  of  Man  — Antediluvian  Relics  —  The  Ancient  Beach  of  Lake  Ontario  Inhabited  by  Man. 

THE  aboriginal  occupation  of  America  is  a  subject  of  exhaustless  research. 
Among  the  many  divisions  of  this  subject  none  present  so  broad  a  field 
of  observation  to  the  thoughtful  investigator  as  the  antique  remains  of  the  con- 
tinent. The  inquiry  regarding  their  origin,  and  its  direct  bearing  on  the  ques- 
tion of  man's  early  history,  opens  the  door  of  discussion  to  subjects  diverse,  in 
character,  comprehending  nearly  every  line  of  thought  and  course  of  study. 
The  prominence  given  to  these  antiquities  has  engaged  the  attention  of  men 
of  every  nationality  and  station  in  life,  resulting  in  many  ably-fought  battles 
between  earnest  advocates  of  dissimilar  views. 

The  interest  in  such  remains  is  not  alone  confined  to  those  found  in  America. 
The  Old  world  has  celebrated  in  prose  and  verse  the  antiquities  of  ancient  ern- 
pires  and  the  relics  of  nations  and  tribes  of  primitive  people  to  whom  it  is  not 
difficult  to  trace  an  historical  connection ;  while  men  of  the  highest  scientific 
attainments  engage  in  the  collection  and  collation  of  evidences  of  the  antiquity 
of  the  human  race.  The  New  world  possesses  no  record  of  historic  reference 
whereby  the  truth  respecting  her  primitive  peoples  can  be  established.  The 
fragmentary  knowledge  possessed  by  historians  is  derived  from  evidences  fur- 
nished by  time-worn  remains,  mythology  and  analogous  reasoning,  and  Foster 
tells  us,  in  his  admirable  work,  The  Pre-historic  Races  of  the  United  States, 
that  but  recently  a  deep  feeling  of  distrust  pervaded  the  public  mind  of  this 

'  The  first  fifteen  chapters  of  this  work  were  prepared  by  Mr.  George  H.  Harris. 

2 


12  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

country  in  reference  to  every  discovery  which  is  supposed  to  carry  back  the 
origin  of  man  to  a  period  antecedent  to  the  historical  era;  "and  yet,"  contin- 
ues the  same  author,  "reasoning  from  palaeontological  analogies,  we  ought  to 
expect  to  find  evidences  of  the  hiiman  occupancy  of  this  continent,  reaching 
back  to  an  antiquity  as  remote  as  on  the  European  continent." 

Happily,  modern  thought  is  progressive.  The  rapidity  with  which  scientific 
discoveries  and  inventions  of  a  marvelous,  though  practical  nature  are  success- 
ively brought  before  the  public  view  is  exerting  an  appreciable  influence  in 
the  preparation  of  the  human  mind  for  a  favorable  reception  of  vital,  though 
recently^  admitted,  truths;  "and,"  remarks  Sir  John  Lubbock,  "the  new  views 
in  regard  to  the  antiquity  of  man,  though  still  looked  upon  with  distrust  and 
apprehension,  will,  I  doubt  not,  in  a  few  years  be  regarded  with  as  little  disqui- 
etude as  are  now  those  discoveries  in  astronomy  and  geology  which  at  one 
time  excited  even  greater  opposition."  ' 

"Within  the  present  generation,"  says  Foster,  "has  been  opened  a  sphere 
of  investigation  which  has  enlisted  an  able  body  of  observers,  whose  labors 
have  thrown  a  flood  of  light  upon  the  question  relating  to  our  common  hu- 
manity. Ethnography  has  been  raised  to  the  rank  of  the  noblest  of  sciences. 
However  strange  these  new  views  with  regard  to  the  origin  and  history  of  our 
race  may  appear,  they  cannot  be  disregarded.  We  must  weigh  the  value  of 
observations,  and  press  them  to  their  legitimate  conclusions."  The  develop- 
ment of  those  kindred  sciences,  geology  and  palaeontology,  united  with  the  re- 
sults of  ethnological  research,  during  the  past  half-century,  are  truly  amazing 
in  their  possibilities"  and  effect.  The  revelations  of  science  are  not  only  revolu- 
tionising the  world  of  thought,  but  actually  overturning  the  foundations  of  an- 
cient history.  The  New  world  of  historians  is  the  Old  world  of  geologists," 
who  inform  us  that  America  was  "first  born  among  the  continents,  and  already 
stretched  an  unbroken  line  of  land  from  Nova  Scotia  to  the  far  West,  while 
Europe  was  represented  by  islands  rising  here  and  there  above  the  sea;"'  that 
the  Laurentian  mountains  in  Canada,  and  portions  of  the  Adirondacks  in  New 
York  —  the  classical  grounds  of  American  geologists  —  are  the  oldest  forma- 
tions in  the  world,  and  along  their  surf- beaten  coasts  were  developed  the  ear- 
liest forms  of  organic  life.  Dawson  describes  the  Eozoon  Canadense,  or  "dawn- 
animal,"  a  microscopic  organism  of  the  Laurentian  foundations,  and  suggests 
the  possibilities  of  life  existent  in  the  waters  of  the  ocean  long  before  the  ap- 
pearance of  land  above  the  surface;''  while  the  character  of  recent  discoveries 
tends  to  strengthen  the  belief  that  the  origin  of  man,  even,  may  be  assigned  to 

'  Preface  of  Pre-historic  Times,  by  Sir  John  Lubbock. 

^  The  early  rise  of  the  American  continent  was  asserted,  for  the  first  time,  by  Foster,  in  his  report 
on  the  mineral  lands  of  Lake  Superior.  The  fact  is  too  well  established  to  require  special  quotation  of 
authorities,  as  nearly  all  works  on  American  geology,  issued  subsequent  to  1853,  affirm  the  statement. 

'  Agassiz,  Geological  Sketches. 

*  The  Earth  and  Man,  by  J.  W.  Dawson,  p.  23. 


The  First  Human  Occupancy.  13 

tin's,  the  most  ancient  of  continents.  Revelations  of  so  startling  a  nature  are 
the  result  of  patient  investigations  pursued  by  learne.d  men,  who  find  the  chro- 
nology of  the  Hebrew  Pentateuch,  which  would  bring  everything  relating  to 
human  history  within  the  short  compass  of  four  thousand  and  four  years  ante- 
cedent to  the  Christian  era,'  insufficient  to  account  for  the  mutations  the  earth 
has  undergone,'  and  the  development  of  man  from  the  low  stage  of  wildest 
savagery,  which  all  evidences  prove  his  primitive  condition  to  have  been,  to 
the  modern  plane  of  intellectual  power  and  refinement. 

We  speak  of  the  race  of  men  found  in  possession  of  this  continent  at  the 
time  of  its  discovery  by  Europeans  in  the  fifteenth  century  as  the  Aborigines 
of  America,  and  long  usage  has  rendered  the  term,  in  the  sense  in  which  it  is 
applied  to  the  Indians,  peculiarly  fitting,  though  incorrect.  They  were  natives 
of  America,  but  not  its  original  inhabitants.  There  are  proofs  of  the  presence 
here  of  people  who  lived  at  so  early  a  period  of  time  that  no  authoritative  ref- 
erence to  them  has  ever  been  found  in  written  history.  We  know  of  their  ex- 
istence, and  occupation  of  the  land,  only  through  discovery  of  remains  of  a 
character  suggestive  of  the  term  "Mound-builders,"  which  has  become  their 
historical  designation.  For  the  history  of  time  and  events  back  of  the  red 
man  and  the  Mound-builder,  we  must  penetrate  the  earth  itself,  and,  from  the 
evidentiary  material  discovered,  trace  or  reason  out  a  parallelism  with  existing 
forms  and  conditions,  basing  our  conclusions  entirely  upon  the  principle  that 
from  the  beginning  of  time  nature  has  worked  upon  the  same  plan,  with  like 
forces  and  results  as  at  present. 

Abstruse  as  the  question  of  man's  antiquity  may  appear,  it  is,  nevertheless, 
pertinent  to  our  subject  —  the  early  human  occupancy  of  this  immediate  local- 
ity. We  are  confident  that  the  St.  Lawrence  basin  and  the  near-lying  moun- 
tain districts  of  New  York  and  Canada  will  yet  furnish  material  aid  to  science 
in  the  final  solution  of  this  great  problem,  but,  if  we  attempt  to  trace  the  rec- 
ord of  man's  remote  occupation  of  our  home  territory  by  a  chain  of  successive 
events,  we  find  many  of  the  links  of  connection  broken  or  entirely  wanting ; 
still  there  would  seem  to  be  some  grounds  for  the  confidence  expressed,  in  the 
discovery  of  a  certain  class  of  ancient  relics  that  has  attracted  little  attention  in 
the  world  of  science. 

In  a  communication  to  the  American  Antiquarian  society  prior  to  1830  the 
late  Dr.  Samuel  L.  Mitchell,  professor  of  natural  history,  and  father  of  geology 
in  the  state  of  New  York,  mentioned  this  class  of  antiquities  as  distinguished 

'  The  .Samaritan  Pentateuch  places  the  creation  of  the  world  B.C.  4700;  the  Septuagint,  5872;  Jo- 
sephus,  4658;  the  Talmudists,  S344;  Scaliger,  3950;  Petavius,  3984;  Playfair,  4007.  Dr.  Hales 
places  it  at  541 1,  and  enumerates  over  one  hundred  and  twenty  various  opinions  on  the  subject,  the  dif- 
ference between  the  latest  and  remotest  dates  being  no  less  than  3268  years.  Good  Uishop  Usher, 
whose  chronological  table  is  used  in  the  English  Bible,  follows  the  Hebrew  account,  and  places  the 
creation  B.C.  4004. 

'  Sir  William  Thomson  thinks  the  time  which  has  elapsed  from  the  first  foundation  of  a  solid  crust 
on  the  earth  to  the  modern  period  may  have  been  from  seventy  to  one  hundred  millions  of  years. 


14  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

entirely  from  those  which  gre  usually  ascribed  to  the  Indians  and  Mound- 
builders,  as  follows : — 

"  In  the  section  of  country  about  Fredonia,  New  York,  on  the  south  side  of  Lake 
Erie,  are  discovered  objects  deservedly  worthy  of  particular  and  inquisitive  research. 

This  kind  of  antiquities  present  themselves  on  digging  from  thirty  to  fifty  feet 

below  the  surface  of  the  ground.  They  occur  in  the  form  of  fire-brands,  split  wood, 
ashes,  coals  and  occasionally  tools  and  utensils,  buried  to  those  depths." 

Dr.  Mitchell  also  expressed  an  earnest  wish  that  the  members  of  the  soci- 
ety should  exert  thernselves  with  all  possible  diligence  to  ascertain  and  collect 
facts  of  this  description  for  the  benefit  of  the  geologist  and  historian ;  in  the 
expectation  that,  "if  collected  and  methodised,  conclusions  could  be  drawn  of 
a  nature  that  would  shed  light  on  the  ancient  and  traditionary  history  of  the 
world."  Priest  tells  us  the  relics  mentioned  by  Dr.  Mitchell  were  found  be- 
neath the  ridge  which  borders  the  east  shore  of  Lake  Erie,  and  refers  to  their 
origin  as  "antediluvian."'  A  superficial  deposit,  known  as  the  "lake  ridge," 
similar  to  the  one  on  Lake.  Erie,  extends  from  Sodus,  New  York,  westward 
around  the  head  of  Lake  Ontario  into  Canada,  at  a  distance  varying  from 
three  to  eight  miles  from  the  present  beach  of  the  lake.  Throughout  its  whole 
extent  in  this  state  this  ridge  is  well  defined,  bearing  all  the  indications  of  hav- 
ing once  been  the  boundary  of  a  large  body  of  water,  and  of  having  been  pro- 
duced in  the  same  manner  as  the  elevated  beaches  of  the  ocean  and  larger 
lakes.  In  height  it  varies  from  a  gentle  swell  to  sharply  defined  elevations 
fifteen  to  twenty  feet  above  the  surface  of  the  ground,  occasionally  descending 
toward  the  lake  for  fifty  or  one  hundred  feet  in  an  easy  slope.  Its  seaward 
side  is  usually  covered  with  coarse  gravel  and  often  with  large  pebbles.  Pro- 
fessor Hall,  our  state  geologist,  says : — -"^ 

"  If  anything  were  wanting  in  the  external  appearance  of  this  ridge  to  convince  the 
observer  of  the  mode  of  its  formation,  every  excavation  made  into  it  proves  conclusively 
its  origin.  The  lowest  deposit,  or  foundation,  is  a  coarse  sand  or  gravel,  and  upon  this 
a  regular  deposit  of  silt.  The  layer  of  vegetable  matter  is  evenly  spread,  as  if  deposited 
from  water,  and  afterward  covered  with  fine  sand,  and  to  this  succeeds  coarse  sand  and 
gravel.  Fragments  of  wood  nearly  fossilised,  shells,  etc.,  are  found  in  digging  wells  and 
cutting  channels  through  the  ridge;  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  of  its  formadon  by  the 
waters  of  Lake  Ontario,  which  once  stood  at  that  level."^ 

The  grand  Indian  trail  from  the  Genesee  falls  to  the  Niagara  river  passed 
along  the  summit  of  this  ridge,  and  for  over  seventy  years  the  white  man  has 
used  it  as  a  road-bed  (for  one  of  the  most  extensively  traveled  highways  in 
New  York)  between  Rochester  and  Lewiston.  The  farm  of  David  Tomlinson 
is  situated  on  the  Ridge  road,  half  a  mile  west  of  the  village  of  Gaines,  Orleans 
county.  When  first  occupied  in  1814  the  ground  was  covered  by  forest  trees 
of  large  growth,  many  being  three  and  four  feet  in  diameter,  and  the  stumps 
of  two,  specially  noted  as  standing  over  a  mile  north  of  the  ridge,  measured 


'  Antiquities  of  America,  by  Josiah  Priest. 
^  Geology  of  New  York.     Part  IV.,  p.   349. 


Ancient  Remains.  15 


each,  nearly  eight  feet  across  the  top.  As  far  as  the  eye  could  reach  in  either 
direction  the  ridge  in  this  vicinity  then  declined  toward  the  lake  in  a  smooth, 
unbroken  grade,  and  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  north  of  its  center  the 
clear  waters  of  a  spring  bubbled  forth  and  darted  away  lakeward  in  a  tiny  riv- 
ulet. From, the  main  Indian  trail  on  the  ridge  a  path  led  down  to  the  spring, 
which  was  well  known  to  the  Indians,  who  often  camped  in  the  neighborhood. 

In  1824  the  spring-basin  was  cleaned  out  and  stoned  up  in  the  form  of  a 
well.  In  1853  the  water  failed  and  the  well  was  deepened.  In  1864  the  well 
bottom  was  lowered  to  a  total  depth  of  twenty  feet.  About  eighteen  feet  be- 
low the  original  surface  the  digger  came  upon  a  quantity  of  brush  overlying 
an  ancient  fireplace,  consisting  of  three  round  stones,  each  about  one  foot  in 
diameter,  placed  in  the  form  of  a  triangle.  A  mass  of  charcoal  and  ashes  sur- 
rounded the  stones  which  were  burned  and  blackened  by  fire  and  smoke. 
Several  sticks  were  found  thrust  between  the  stones,  the  inner  ends  burned 
and  charred  as  left  by  the  expiring  flames.  A  careful  inspection  of  these 
sticks  by  a  gentleman'  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  nature  and  grain  of  va- 
rious woods  proved  them  to  be  hemlock  and  ash.  Some  were  denuded  of 
bark  ;\nd  had  the  smooth  surface  usually  presented  by  water-washed  wood 
found  on  any  beach.  Several  slicks  were  split,  and  surrounding  one  was  a  de- 
pressed ring,  or  indentation,  as  though  some  dull  instrument  had  been  em- 
ployed in  an  effort  to  weaken  or  break  the  wood.  The  ashes  were  indurated 
to  a  degree  requiring  the  use  of  a  pick  in  their  removal,  and  rested  upon  a 
stratum  of  sand,  which  was  also  in  a  hardened  condition,  being  taken  out  in 
large  pieces  that  proved  to  be  very  fine  grained,  with  a  smooth  surface  slightly 
creased  in  places,  possibly  ripple  marks.  When  first  discovered  the  brush  was 
closely  packed  over  the  fireplace  and  had  every  appearance  of  having  been 
forced  into  position  by  the  action  of  water.  The  fireplace  and  all-  the  details 
of  its  narrow'^  surroundings,  which  were  carefully  noted,  clearly  indicated  that 
it  had  been  made  upon  a  sand-beach,  and  was  subjected  to  an  inundation  that 
washed  the  mass  of  brush,  possibly  gathered  for  fuel,  over  the  stones  and  ashes, 
which  were  afterward  covered  many  feet  deep  by  successive  strata  of  the  same 
gravelly  soil  of  which  the  ridge  is  composed,  and  was  thus  preserved  fpr  ages 
unknown. 

In  a  survey  of  the  grounds  and  after  thorough  consideration  of  the  circum- 
stances the  writer  became  assured  of  the  following  conclusions :  The  fireplace 
was  constructed  by  .persons  having  the  use  of  rude  implements  and  possessed 
of  some  knowledge  of  cookery,  at  a  period  just  previous  to  the  formation  of 
the  ridge.     In  its  formation  this  ridge  was  extended  along  the  base  of  an  ele- 

'  John  J^utt,  of  Rochester,  to  whose  excellent  knowledge  of  the  early  history  of  this  locality  the 
writer  is  indebted  for  many  fact.s. 

"  In  1880  these  facts,  as  presented,  were  brojght  to  the  notice  of  Lewis  H.  Morgan,  of  Rochester, 
who  assured  the  writer  that  the  discovery  was  the  most  interesting  and  valuable  one  within  his  knowl- 
edge, respecting  the  ridge,  and  he  earnestly  advised  its  publication. 


1 6  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

vation  connected  with  the  mountain-ridge,  and  constituted  a  solid  dam,  from 
one  hundred  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  wide,  across  the  mouth  of  a  little 
valley  and  inward  curvature  of  the  hillside.  The  accumulation  of  water,  shed 
by  the  surrounding  slopes,  originally  transformed  the  basins  thus  created  into 
ponds,  and  subsequently,  when  drained,  converted  them  into  marshes.  The 
valley  waters,  aided  by  the  current  of  an  inflowing  stream,  forced  a  channel 
through  the  ridge,  but  the  waters  of  the  small  pond  were  gradually  released 
by  soaking  through  the  mud  bottom  and  following  the  course  of  a  vein  under- 
neath the  ridge  to  its  northern  side,  where  they»rose  to  the  surface  in  the  form 
of  a  spring.  The  failure  of  the  spring  was  caused  by  the  clearing  and  cultiva- 
tion of  its  marsh  source.  It  is  evident  that  the  spring  came  into  operation  long 
after  the  ridge  was  formed,  and.  the  rise  of  the  water  directly  above  the  fire- 
place was  incidental,  there  being  no  connection  whatever  between  the  two 
events. 

If  these  conclusions  are  justified  by  the  conditions  related,  it  would  appear 
that  man  was  a  habitant  of  the  south  shore  of  Lake  Ontario  before  the  ridge 
existed,  and,  if  the  age  of  the  ridge  can  be  even  approximately  determined, 
some  idea  can  be  had  of  the  length  of  time  he  has  occupied  our  home  terri- 
tory. The  results  of  a  special  study  regarding  the  peculiar  topographical  feat- 
ures of  Western  New  York  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  the  ridge  is  of  very  an- 
cient origin  —  in  fact,  that  it  antedates  the  present  rock-cut  channel  of  the 
Genesee  —  and,  though  our  range  of  inquiry  is  necessarily  limited,  a  brief  ex- 
position of  reasons  influencing  this  conclusion  may  prove  of  interest. 


CHAPTER  II. 

Surface  Geology  —  The  Great  Sea  —  Origin  of  the  Genesee  River  —  Great  Age  of  the  Lake  Ridge 
—  Man's  Antiquity  in  the  Genesee  Country. 

IN  every  direction  about  Rochester  we  behold  the  effects  of  aqueous'action. 
The  hills,  domes  and  pillars  of  sand  and  gravel,  the  rolling  plains  and  allu- 
vial ridges,  the  great  valleys  and  deep  channels  of  watei'courses,  the  polished 
rocks  of  limestone  beneath  the  soil,  and  huge  boulders  scattered  over  the  sur- 
face, all  combine  in  an  appeal  to  our  reason,  arouse  an  interest  and  create  a 
desire  to  learn  the  primary  cause  of  these  singular  forms  of  nature.  The  sci- 
ence of  geology  teaches  that  the  earth  first  appeared  above  the  waters  of  the 
ocean  in  the  form  of  azoic  rock,  and  those  grand  scientists,  Agassiz  and  Dana, 
tell  us  that  certain  portions  of  the  territory  of  the  Empire  state  were  among 
the  very  first  kissed  by  the  warm  sunlight  of  heaven. 


Peculiar  Formation  of  the  Genesee  River.  17 

Passing  over  the  changes  occurring  during  many  succeeding  geological 
ages,  we  reach  a  period  when  the  rising  continent  had  divided  the  waters  of 
the  ocean  by  the  elevation  of  mountain  barriers,  and  converted  all  this  part 
of  America  into  an  inland  sea.  The  physical  contour  of  much  of  the  state  of 
New  York  is  directly  due  to  the  active  agency  of  the  waters  of  this  sea,  which 
left  its  impress  upon  so  large  an  area  of  our  natural  surroundings;  and  its  his- 
tory, as  revealed  by  geological  developments,  has  a  local  application  which 
may  worthily  excite  an  interest  not  usual  in  matters  of  this  character.  Even 
the  noble  river,  quietly  carrying  its  daily  tribute  of  mountain  waters  from  the 
AUeghanies  through  the  heart  of  Rochester  to  Lake  Ontario,  has  its  place  in 
the  history  of  the  great  sea,  and  it  is  a  curious  fact  that  the  results  of  scientific 
research  show  the  history  of  the  Genesee  as  differing  from  that  of  other  rivers 
in  the  processes  of  its  formation.  The  tinge  of  romance,  lending  attractiveness 
to  all  narrations  of  man's  early  acquaintance  with  the  Genesee,  deepens  to  a 
flush  in  the  recital  of  the  ancient  river's  history.  The  spring  gushing  from  a 
hill-side,  its  sparkling  waters  finding  their  way  to  some  natural  depression, 
forms  a  purling  brook,  by  small  degrees  and  successive  additions  enlarging  to 
the  size  of  a  creek,  increasing  in  volume  and  magnitude  to  the  full  development 
of  a  river  flowing  in  silent  majesty,  with  great  sweeps  and  curves,  along  its  well- 
defined  channel,  crushing  with  irresistible  force  through  some  rock-bound 
mountain  gorge,  plunging  with  mighty  thunderings  over  a  great  precipice 
into  the  deep  basin  below,  and  thence  passing  onward  to  lose  their  identity 
forever  in  the  commingled  floods  of  lake  and  ocean  —  such  is  the  natural 
history  of  rivers. 

No  record  like  this  bears  the  Genesee.  The  growth  of  its  formation  was 
one  of  recession.  Not  at  the  bubbling  fountain  of  distant  plain  or  hill-slope 
began  the  inceptive  movement  of  its  birth,  but  near  its  very  entrance  into  the 
great  fresh  water  sea  of  its  deposit.  Springing  into  life  with  the  full  force  born 
of  bursting  lake  barriers,  its  first  current  must  have  been  a  mighty  stream  of 
great  width  and  power,  capable  of  rending  asunder  the  rock  foundations  of  the 
earth;  and  the  course  now  pursued  from  its  modern  headwater  sources  on  the 
mountain  plains  of  Pennsylvania  is  the  result  of  a  deicreasing  volume,  narrow- 
ing its  bounds  from  the  broad  expanse  of  its  mother-lakes  to  the  contracted 
space  of  the  latest  channel  in  the  valley  bottom.  This,  and  many  'other  facts 
of  special  interest,  we  learn  in  the  history  of  the  great  sea  whose  boundaries, 
at  the  period  of  its  first  separation  from  the  ocean,  are  not  clearly  defined;  but 
an  idea  of  their  general  course  at  a  later  date,  when  the  configuration  of  the 
earth  was  nearly  complete,  can  be  formed  by  a  brief  study  of  the  topography 
of  North  America,  which  discloses  an  immense  basin,  bounded  on  the  north 
by  the  range  of  mountains  extending  through  Canada  to  the  far  West;  on  the 
east  by  the  New  England  range,  extending  southwesterly  by  the  Highlands  of 
New  York,  and  the  AUeghanies  of  Pennsylvania,  thence  west  and  south  toward 
the  Mississippi  river. 


1 8  ,  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

The  elevation  of  the  interior  of  the  continent  produced  its  natural  effect  in 
a  subsidence  of  the  sea-waters  into  the  depressions  of  the  earth  then  existing, 
their  divisions  into  lesser  seas,  and  in  time  by  successive  drainage  at  outlets  of 
different  elevation,  the  formation  of  lakes.  The  immense  basin  of  the  St. 
Lawrence,  which  extends  from  the  gulf  of  St.  Lawrence  to  the  headwaters  of 
the  Mississippi  —  a  distance  of  two  thousand  miles  —  formed  the  first  reser- 
voir. This,  in  time,  was  divided  by  natural  barriers  into  three  sub-basins. 
The  first  of  these  has  an  area  of  about  90,000  square  miles,  more  than  one- 
fourth  of  which  is  occupied  by  the  waters  of  Lake  Superior.  The  next,  or 
middle,  basin  has  an  area  of  at  least  160,000  square  miles  and  contains  Lakes 
Huron,  Michigan  and  Erie  in  its  lowest  depressions.  The  surface  of  the  lower 
basin  has  an  area  of  about  260,000  square  miles  and  is  covered  in  part  by  the 
waters  of  Lake  Ontario  and  the  St.  Lawrence  river.  The  upper,  basin  prob- 
ably had  its  outlet  into  the  middle  basin,  which,  previous  to  the  destruction 
of  the  original  coast- ridge  at  the  northeastern  end  of  Lake  Erie  and  conse- 
quent birth  of  Niagara  river,  had  its  drainage  to  the  south  through  the  valleys 
of  the  Des  Plains,  Kankakee,  Illinois  and  Mississippi  rivers,  into  the  gulf  of 
Mexico.  1 

The  period  in  which  the  actual  division  of  the  middle  and  lower  basins 
took  place  cannot  be  fixed,  but  the  occurrence  marked  an  era  from  which  our 
interest  in  the  subsiding  waters  of  the  great  sea  is  confined  to  the  lower,  or  On- 
tario, basin.  About  the  time  of  this  separation  the  Mount  Hope  and  Pinnacle 
range  of  hills,  on  the  southern  boundary  line  of  the  city,  formed  a  barrier  at 
the  north  end  of  the  Genesee  valley,  and,  dividing  the  waters,  produced  a 
great  shallow  lake  covering  all  the  valley  between  Rochester  and  Dansville. 
The  waters  of  the  sea,  now  Lake  Ontario,  continued  their  retirement  to  the 
north,  and  coast  lines  formed  during  the  period  of  recession  can  be  traced  at 
many  points  on  the  slopes  of  the  Ontario  basin  where  the  waves  left  their  mark 
on  cliff,  and  hillside,  or  washed  up  great  alluvial  ridges  in  open  plains.  At 
least  a  dozen  such  ridges  can  be  found  at  different  places  in  New  York,  and 
two  at  Rochester,  the  lake  ridge  being  the  most  distinct.  It  is  probable  that  a 
barrier  across  the  St.  Lawrence  then  restrained  the  lake  waters,  which  escaped 
through  the  valley  of  the  Mohawk  at  Little  Falls  into  the  Hudson.  The  low- 
est part  of  the  old  channel  through  the  rocky  gorge  at  Little  Falls  is  428  feet 
above  the.  ocean,  and  the  ridge  in  Rochester  is  about  441  feet.^     It  is  supposed 

'^Niagara  Falls  and  Other  Famous  Cataracts,  by  George  W.  Holley.     This  book  contains  a  very 
interesting  history  of  the  middle  basin  and  the  probable  origin  of  the  Niagara  river  and  falls. 

2  Through  the  kindness  of  R.  J.  Smith,  A.  J.  Grant  and  E.  U.  Whitmore,  civil  engineers,  the  ele- 
vation of  various  points  between  the  upper  Genesee  fall  and  Lake  Ontario,  which  has  never  been  pub- 
lished before,  has  been  obtained.  The  ridge  at  the  intersection  of  the  Charlotte  boulevard  west  of  Han- 
ford's  Landing,  is  193.91  feet  above  Lake  Ontario.  At  the  crossing  of  the  Ontario  Belt  railroad,  about 
.  1,000  feet  east  of  the  river,  the  ridge  is  182.45  1^^'  above  the  lake.  The  latter,  according  to  the  recent 
(1878)  geodetic  survey,  is  247.25  feet  above  the  ocean.  An  influx  of  water  rising  247.25  feet  above 
mean  tide  at  New  York  would  place  the  ocean  on  a  level  with  Lake  Ontario;  441  feet,  with  the  ridge, 
and  connect  the  lake  with  the  Hudson  river  through  the  Mohawk  valley  at  Little  Falls;  508  feet,  with 


Antiquity  of  the  Lake  Ridge.  19 

that  the  waters  had  retired  beyond  the  level  of  the  ridge,  and  from  some  un- 
known cause  —  possibly  the  breaking  down  of  the  natural  obstruction  at  the 
northeastern  extremity  of  Lake  Erie,  and  discharge  of  its  waters  into  Lake 
Ontario  —  again  rose  several  feet,  the  ridge  being  formed  under  the  water 
while  the  surface  was  but  a  few  feet  above.  The  breaking  away,  or  removal, 
of  the  St.  Lawrence  barrier  reduced  the  lake  to  its  present  level. 

Following  this  event,  the  Genesee  valley  lake  burst  through  the  hills  east 
of  the- Pinnacle,  formed  a  great  river,  now  the  Genesee,  and  excavated  the 
bay  of  Irondequoit.'  In  time  this  channel  became  obstructed  and  the  waters 
cut  a  new  outlet  through  the  hill  west  of  the  present  channel  at  tlie  Rapids  in 
South  Rochester,  pursuing  a  direct  northern  course  to  the  present  Genesee 
falls  in  the  heart  of  the  city.  This  passage  becoming  obstructed  just  north  of 
the  Rapids,  the  river  was  directed  east  toward  Mount  Hope  and  thence  north- 
ward through  its  modern  channel.  The  production  of  the  Genesee  river 
gorge  through  Rochester  to  Latce  Ontario  is  mainly  the  result  of  erosion, 
having  been  effected  by  running  water  aided  by  frost,  and  it  is  evident  that 
this  work  has  been  accomplished  since  Lake  Ontario  retired  from  the  ridge. 
If  this  theory  is  correct  —  and  it  is  affirmed  by  scientists'''  —  the  lake  ridge 
antedates  the  Genesee  river  and  Irondequoit  bay,  and  the  fireplace  discovered 
on  the  old  beach  beneath  the  ridge  at  Gaines  was  constructed  by  men  who 
occupied  our  home  territory  at  a  period  so  remote  that  it  is  not  possible  to  fix 
its  limit.  It  may  be  stated,  however,  that,  from  deductions  covering  the  age 
of  supposed  contemporaneous  events,  it  has  been  crudely  estimated  as  exceed- 
ing fourteen  thousand  years. 

the  Erie  canal  aqueduct  in  Rochester,  and  submerge  half  the  city;  573.58  feet  with  Lake  Erie;  58S 
feet,  with  Lake  Michigan  ;  600  feet  would  carry  the  waters  over  the  dividing  plateau  between  Chicago 
and  the  Mississippi  valley  and  re-establish  the  great  interior  sea,  with  the  ocean  flowing  from  Labrador 
to  the  gulf  of  Mexico.  The  sea  would  be  353  feet  above  the  present  level  of  Lake  Ontario,  and  Roch- 
ester submerged  but  ninety-two  feet  at  the  aqueduct.  The  tops  of  many  buildings  in  the  city  would  re- 
main above  the  surface.  I'innacle  hill,  in  the  sliape  of  a  conical  island,  would  rise  seventy-one  feet 
above  the  water,  and  Mount  Hope  and  the  intervening  range  form  a  cluster  of  knolls  and  line  of  shal- 
low, bars. 

'  Professor  James  Hall,  Geological  Survey  of  the  Fourth  District. 

^  See  //lustrations  of  Surface  Geology  and  /irosions  of  the  Earth's  Surface,  by  Edward  Ililch- 
cock,  JX. U. ;  Smithsonian  Contributions  to  Knowledge,  Vol.  IX.;  Geology  of  New  York,  by  James 
Hall,  and  other  standard  works. 


20  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

CHAPTER  III 

Ancient  Races  —  The  Mound-builders  —  The  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee  —  Traditions  of  the 
Red  Men  —  Presence  of  a  Pre-historic  People  in  the  Genesee  Valley,  and  about  Irondequoit  liay 
—  The  Ridge  Mounds  and    Relics  —  Ancient  Landings  on  the  Genesee  —  A  Race  of  I^rge  Men. 

THAT  a  race,  or  -races,  of  men  preceded  the  Indians  in  the  occupation 
of  this  country  is  too  well  understood  to  require  special  iteration.  We 
may  never  learn  the  origin  of  those  ancient  people,  or  gather  more  than  scat- 
tering lines  of  their  history,  but  tangible,  imperishable  proofs  of  their  former 
presence  on  a  large  area  of  the  American  continent  still  remain  in  the  form  of 
earthworks  which  extend  from  New  York  westwardly  along  the  southern 
shore  of  Lake  Erie,  and  through  Michigan  and  the  intermediate  states  and 
territories  to  the  Pacific.  They  have  been  fpund  on  thfe  shores  of  Lake  Pepin, 
and  on  the  Missouri  river  over  one  thousand  miles  above  its  junction  with  the 
Mississippi,  and  extend  down  the  valley  of  the  latter  to  the  gulf  of  Mexico. 
They  line  the  shores  of  the  gulf  from  Texas  to  Florida,  continue  in  diminished 
numbers  into  South  Carolina,'  and  stand  as  eternal  sentinels  on  the  Rio  Grande 
del  Norte. 

The  age  in  which  the  Mound-builder  lived  and  flourished  is  at  present 
undetermined;  it  may  yet  be  decided  as  contemporaneous  with  that  of  ancient 
nations  known  to  civilised  man,  or  at  some  definite  period  beyond  the  present 
measurements  of  written  history.  The  theory  generally  accepted  places  the 
Mound-builders  in  possession  of  this  country  at  the  advent  of  the  Indians, 
who  dispossessed  and  nearly  exterminated  the  original  owners  of  the  soil. 
The  survivors  of  the  conquered  people  fled  down  the  Mississippi  valley,  and 
are  supposed  to  have  mingled  with  tribes  of  red  men  that  followed  them.  In 
his  new  work,  the  Iroquois  Book  of  Rites,  page  ii,  Mr.  Hale  says  he  has 
found  traces  in  the  Cherokee  tongue  of  a  foreign  language,  which  he  supposes 
to  have  been  derived  from  the  Mound-builders  of  the  Ohio  valley,  whom  he 
identifies  as  the  AUegewi,  or  Tallegewi.  According  to  the  legends  of  the  Iro- 
quois and  Algonkins,  those  two  races  of  red  ntien  united  in  a  war  against,  and 
overpowered,  the  AUegewi,  who,  says  Mr.  Hale,  "  left  their  name  to  the  Alle- 
ghany river  and  mountains,  and  whose  vast  earthworks  are  still,  after  half  a 
century  of  study,  the  perplexity  of  archaeologists." 

While  these  monuments  are  not  generally  supposed  to  exist  beyond  the 
tributary  sources  of  the  Alleghany,  in  Western  New  York,  there  would  appear 
to  be  reasonable  grounds  for  a  belief  that  the  Mound-builders,  or  other  an- 
cient people,  extended  their  settlements  into  the  interior  of  the  state,  and 
dwelt  here  in  considerable  numbers.  During  the  old  French  war,  in  1755, 
a  party  of  French  and  Indians  attacked  a  frontier  settlement  in  Pennsylvania, 
murdered  a  number  of  the  inhabitants  and  carried  away  several  women  and 

'  Antiquities  of  New   York  and  the  West,  by  E.  G.  Squier,  p.  294. 


Tllli  MOUND-UUILDERS.  21 


children  as  captives.  Among  the  latter  was  a  little  girl,  who  was  adopted  by 
a  Seneca  family,  grew  to  womanhood,  became  the  wife  of  two  Indian  warriors, 
reared  several  children,  and  for  nearly  eighty  years  held.no  family  or  social 
relationship  other  than  that  of  her  Indian  associates,  to  whom  she  was  known 
as  Deh-he-wa-mis.  Her  name  was  Mary  Jemison,  but  for  over  a  century  the 
people  of  her  own  race  have  designated  her  "  the  white  woman  of  the 
Genesee,"  the  greater  part  of  her  life  being  spent  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
Genesee  river.  At  the  great  council  held  at  Big  Tree  (Geneseo)  in  1797  her 
Indian  friends  stipulated  that  Mrs.  Jemison  should  receive  a  tract  of  land 
located  on  the  Genesee  between  Mount  Morris  and  Portage.  The  river  passes 
through  this  land  in  a  deep,  narrow  valley,  and  the  fertile  land  on  the  valley 
bottom,  where  the  white  woman  made  her  home,  is  l<^own  as  Gardeau  flats. 
In  Seaver's  Life  of  Mary  Jemison,  page  1 34,  we  find  the  following  state- 
ments, received  from  her  own  lips  :• — 

"About  riiree  hundred  acres  of  my  land  when  I  first  saw  it  were  open  flats  lying 
on  the  Genesee  river,  which  it  is  supposed  were  cleared  by  a  race  of  inhabitants  who 
preceded  the  first  Indian  settlements  in  this  part  of  the  country.  The  Indians  are 
confident  that  many  parts  of  this  country  were  settled,  and  for  a  number  of  years 
occupied,  by  a  people  of  whom  their  fathers  never  had  any  traditions,  as  they  never 
had  seen  them.  Whence  these  people  originated,  and  whither  they  went,  I  have 
never  heard  one  of  the  oldest  and  wisest  Indians  pretend  to  guess.  ,  When  1  first  came 
to  Genishau,  the  bank  of  Fall  brook  had  just  slid  off,  exposing  a  large  number  of 
human  bones,  which  the  Indians  said  were  buried  there  long  before  their  fathers  ever 
saw  the  place,  and  they  did  not  know  what  kind  of  people  they  were.     It,  however, 

was,  and  is,  believed  by  our  people  that  they  were  not  Indians The  tradition 

of  the  Seneca  Indians  in  regard  to  their  origin  is  that  they  broke  out  of  the  earth  from 
a  large  mountain  at  the  head  of  Canandaigua  lake,  and  that  mountain  they  still  vener- 
ate as  the  place  of  their  birth.  Thence  they  derive  their  name  'Ge-nun-da-wah,'  or 
'Great  Hill  People.'  The  Senecas  have  a  tradition  that  previous  to,  and  for  some  time 
after,  their  origin  at  Genundawah,  the  country,  especially  about  the  lakes,  was  thickly 
inhabited  by  a  race  of  civil,  enterprising  and  industrious  people  who  were  totally 
destroyed  by  the  great  serpent  that  afterward  surrounded  the  great  hill  fort,  with  the 
assistance  of  others  of  the  same  species,  and  that  they  (the  Senecas)  went  into  pos- 
session of  the  improvements  left." 

Near  the  top  of  a  high  ridge  of  sand  hills,  in  the  town  of  Pittsford,  south 
of  the  Irondequoit  valley,  and  about  one  mile  east  of  Allen's  creek,  stands  a 
great  heap  of  limestone  boulders,  evidently  of  drift  origin.  They  are  the  only 
stone  of  that  character  in  that  vicinity,  measure  from  two  to  three  feet  in 
diameter,  and  are  heaped  one  upon  the  other  in  a  space  about  twelve  feet 
square.  They  occupied  the  same  place  and  position  sixty  or  seventy  years 
ago,  and  old  residents  say  the  heap  existed  in  the  same  form  when  the  ground 
was  cleared.  Indians  who  passed  that  way  in  early  days  regarded  the  stones 
with  superstitious  awe,  stating,  when  questioned,  that  a  people  who  lived  there 
before  the  Indians  brought  the  stones  to  the  hilltop. 


22  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

"On  the  shore  of  Lake  Ontario,  on  a  high  bluff  near  Irondequoit  bay,  in 
1796,"  says  Oliver  Culver,  "the  bank  caved  off  and  untombed  a  great  quantity 
of  human  bones,  of  a  large  size.  The  arm  and  leg  bones,  upon  comparison, 
were  much  larger  than  those  of  our  own  race."'  The  bluff  mentioned  by  Mr. 
Culver  was  the  seaward  side  of  an  elevated  spot  that  might  properly  be 
termed  a  natural  mound.  It  was  one  of  the  outlying  range  of  sand  hills  or 
knolls,  then  existent  along  the  shore  of  the  lake  in  that  locality,  and  long 
years  ago  succumbed  to  the  never-ceasing  encroachment  of  the  lake  waters.  ■ 
Its  location  was  immediately  west  of  the  angl^  formed  by  the  present  west 
line  of  Irondequoit  bay  and  Lake  Ontario ;  as  late  as  1830  human  bones  of  an 
unusually  large  size  were  occasionally  seen  projecting  from  the  face  of  the 
bluff,  or  lying  on  the  beach  where  the  undermined  soil  had  fallen.  The  tribe 
of  Seneca  Indians  living  in  Irondequoit  in  1796  could  give  no  information 
concerning  these  bones,  stating  their  belief  that  they  were  the  remains  of  a 
people  who  dwelt  about  the  bay  before  the  Indians  came  there. 

The  town  of  Irondequoit  north  of  the  ridge  was  known  as  the  "pine  bar- 
rens "  to  the  early  settlers  who  cleared  it  of  a  heavy  growth  of  pine  trees,  many 
of  which  stood  upon  the  top  of  the  bluff,  and  over  the  ancient  cemetery,  sixty 
years  ago.  The  French  historians  of  DeNonville's  invasion  of  the  Indian 
towns  in  this  vicinity,  in  1687,  describe  the  country  east  of  Irondequoit  bay 
at  that  date,  as  covered  with  tall  woods  sufficiently  open  to  allow  the  army  to 
march  in  three  columns.  These  facts  clearly  show  that  if  the  land  about  Iron- 
dequoit bay  was  once  cleared  and  cultivated,  as  some  infer,  it  was  at  quite  an 
early  period,  and  by  people  known  only  through  tradition  to  the  latter-day 
Indians. 

During  his  investigation  of  the  aboriginal  monuments  of  New  York,  in 
1848,  Mr.  Squier  visited  several  located  within  the  bounds  of  Monroe  county, 
and  spent  considerable  time  in  fruitless  search  for  an  ancient  inclosure  and 
mounds,  which  he  had  been  informed  existed  at  an  early  date  in  Irondequoit 
near  the  Genesee  river.  In  his  valuable  work,*  published  soon  after,  he  ex- 
pressed a  hope  that  the  discovery  of  these  monuments  might  reward  the  labors 
of  a  future  explorer.  Long  and  patient  searches  for  the  works  mentioned  by 
Mr  Squier  were  made  some  years  ago  without  success,  and  in  1879  the  circum- 
stance was  casually  alluded  to  in  the  presence  of  the  writer's  aged  mother,  who, 
at  once,  located  the  mounds  and  gave  an  excellent  description  of  their  primitive 
appearance. 

In  its  course  from  the  upper  falls  in  Rochester  to  Lake  Ontario  the  Gen- 
esee river  flows  in  a  deep,  valley-like  channel  formed  by  ages  of  attrition. 
From  the  lower  falls  to  within  three-fourths  of  a  mile  of  the  lake,  the  east  bank 
rises   in  a  nearly  perpendicular  wall,  varying  from  one  hundred  to  two  hun- 

'  Phelps  and  Gorham  Purchase,  p.  428. 
'  Antiquities  of  Neio  York,  p.  58. 


Evidences  of  the  Mound-builders  Near  Rochester.  23 

dred  and  fifty  feet  in  height,'  broken  at  intervals  by  the  deeply  worn  outlets 
of  creeks  and  brooklets.  At  the  northern  limit  of  the  city,  half  a  mile  below 
the  lower  falls,  a  great  break  occurs  in  the  bluff,  which  curves  inward,  forming 
a  crude  semi-circle.  Immense  quantities  of  detritus  havp  accumulated  at  the 
bottom,  and  slope  up  the  face  of  the  precipice,  affording  room  for  a  narrow  flat 
along  the  water,  and  opportunity  for  man  to  construct  a  roadway  which  winds 
in  a  serpentine  course  up  the  steep  bank  to  the  level  land  above.  This  is  the 
only  place  on  the  east  side  of  the  river  between  the  falls  and  lake  where  easy 
communication  can  be  effected  between  the  general  surface  of  the  land  and  the 
river  bed.  It  constitutes  a  natural  landing-place,  and  is  practically  the  head  of 
navigation  from  Lake  Ontario.  The  western  end  of  the  lake  ridge,  at  its  sev- 
erance by  the  river,  rests  upon  the  top  of  the  cliff  directly  above  the  landing. 
At  the  southern  base  of  the  ridge  are  the  ice  ponds  of  Messrs.  Emerson  and 
Brewer,  fed  by  the  waters  of  springs  which  rise  a  short  distance  east. 

The  locality  was  formerly  a  grand  camping-ground  of  the  Indians,  the  last 
one  of  that  fated  race  who  set  up  his  wigwam  on  the  ridge,  in  1845,  commem- 
orating the  event  by  the  murder  of  his  squaw.  It  was  undoubtedly  one  of  the 
most  noted  points  between  Lake  Erie  and  the  Hudson  river,  and  as  well  known 
to  the  people  who  preceded  the  Indians  as  to  the  latter.  From  its  commanding 
situation  overlooking  the  river  in  both  directions,  its  nearness  to  the  landing 
and  trails  which  converged  there,  the  adaptability  of  the  soil  for  easy  handling 
by  the  rude  implements  of  the  natives,  and  many  other  natural  advantages  of 
the  neighborhood,  it  was  the  place  preferable  above  all  others  upon  which  to 
erect  burial  mounds,  and  two  of  these,  evidently  of  artificial  origin,  existed 
there  when  the  first  settlers  made  their  homes  near  the  lower  falls.  These 
mounds  were  about  four  feet  high  and  twenty  or  twenty-five  feet  across  the 
base.  They  occupied  the  most  elevated  portion  of  the  ridge,  and  were  situ- 
ated from  seventy-five  to  one  hundred  feet  east  of  the  edge  of  the  bluff,  and 
about  the  same  distance  north  of  and  parallel  with  the  present  line  of  Brewer's 
pond. 

At  the  time  Mr.  Squier  made  his  search  the  ground  was,  or  had  been,  un- 
der cultivation  and  the  mounds  reduced  to  nearly  the  level  of  the  natural  ridge. 
When  examined  in  1879  no  satisfactory  conclusion  could-be  reached  regarding 
their  manner  of  construction,   though  it  was  plainly  observable  in  places  that 

'  To  the  scientist  the  imtneeliate  vicinity  of  Rochester  must  ever  present  attractions  unsurpassed  by 
lliosc  of  other  localities.  Especially  is  this  true  in  the  splendid  facilities  afforded  the  geologist  to  mi- 
nutely examine  the  works  of  nature,  and  pursue  his  favorite  study  within  her  very  laboratory,  the  deep, 
rook-cut  channel  of  the  Genesee  river.  This  fact  was  well  understood  at  an  early  day,  and  sketches 
illustrating  the  escarpment  of  the  lower  Genesee  adorn  many  standard  works  on  geology.  Dana^s 
Manual,  page  90,  illustrates  a  section,  four  hundred  feet  in  height,  of  the  strata  as  exhibited  along  the 
Genesee,  at  the  lower  falls.  This  section  has  a  world-wide  fame  as  fairly  illustrating  the  structure  and 
arrangement  of  stratified  rocks  in  their  chronological  order ;  and  no  series  of  natural  rocks  could  be 
finer,  as  the  transition  from  one  stratum  to  another  is  quite  abrupt,  and,  moreover,  each  may  be  traced 
for  a  long  distance  through  the  adjoining  country. 


24  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

sand,  intermixed  with  clay,  covered  the  original  surface  of  the  ground  to  the 
depth  of  a  foot.  Fragments  of  chipped  flint,  arrow-heads  and  stone  knives 
were  picked  up  in  considerable  number  near  the  mounds,  and,  on  digging  one 
or  two  feet  into  the  ground,  bits  of  charcoal,  several  rude  points  and  a  broken 
spear  head  of  stone  were  unearthed. 

In  1880  a  sand  bank  was  opened  in  the  side  of  the  ridge,  and  that  part 
covered  by  the  mounds  has  since  been  entirely  removed.  During  the  course 
of  excavation  a  laborer  came  upon  human -remains.  Parts  of  eight  skeletons 
were  exhumed,  each  surrounded  by  fine  black  soil.  These  were  concealed  and 
all  evidence  of  the  find  destroyed  ;  but  the  discovery  of  a  bone  of  unusual 
size,  together  with  a  curious  pipe,  was  brought  to  the  attention  of  Mr.  Brewer. 
The  laborer  could  remember  few  details  of  the  position  in  which  the  remains 
were  found,  and  the  opportunity  for  careful  investigation  was  lost. 

The  Mound-builders  were  inveterate  smokers,  and  great  numbers  of  pipes 
have  been  found  in  their  mounds.  The  skill  of  the  makers  seems  to  have  been 
exhausted  in  their  construction,  and  no  specimens  of  Indian  art  can  equal  those 
of  the  lost  race.  Many  pipes  of  a  shape  similar  to  those  discovered  in  the 
mounds  of  the  Ohio  and  Mississippi  valleys  have  been  found  in  various  parts 
of  the  country.     Figure  l  is  a  greatly  reduced  representation  of  an  article  of 


stone,  evidently  intended  for  a  pipe,  but  unfinished,  found  near  Mount  Morris, 
in  the  Genesee  valley,  and  sent  to  the  New  York  state  cabinet  at  Albany  by 
Mr.  Squier,  who  says:  "It  is  composed  of  steatite  or  'soap-stone,'  and  in 
shape  corresponds  generally  with  the  pipes  of  stone  found  in  the  mounds  of  the 
Mississippi  valley.  One  or  two  pipes  of  stone  of  very  nearly  the  same  shape 
have  been  found  in  the  same  vicinity,  but  in  point  of  symmetry  or  finish  they 
are  in  no  way  comparable  to  those  of  the  mounds. "  *  The  pipe  taken  from  the 
ridge  mound  in  Rochester  is  of  the  distinctively  characteristic,  or  primitive 
form''  peculiar  to  the  Mound-builders,  and  is  represented  in  figure  2.  It 
is,  or  was  originally,  five  and  one-half  inches  long,  one  and  three-fourths 
wide,  and  one  inch  and  seven-eighths  from  bottom  of  base  to  top  of  bowl. 
The  lines  are  slightly  irregular,  but  very  perfect  for  a  hand-made  article.  The 
material  is  steatite,  very  close  grain  and  quite  brittle.     In  color  it  is  a  deep, 

*  Antiquities  of  New  York,  p.  Ii8. 

2  Ancient  Monuments  of  the  Mississippi  Valley,  p.  227. 


Arch/Eological  Remains. 


25 


rich  brown,  with  blending  patches  of  lighter  shade,  and  every  particle  of  the 
surface  is  so  beautifully  polished  that  it  might  easily  be  mistaken  for  marble. 
It  was  the  only  article  of  any  description  found  with  the  human  remains,  though 
other  relics  may  have  been  unnoticed.     Close  questioning  elicited  the  fact  that 


nearly  all  the  graves  were  near  the  south  slope  of  the  ridge,  and  from  two  to 
two  and  a  half  feet  below  the  original  surface,  while  the  large  bone,  a  humerus, 
was  nearer  the  surface  and  perhaps  more  directly  beneath  the  center  of  the  west 
mound;  from  which  it  may  be  inferred,  though  not  definitely  proven,  that  the 
mound  was  built  over  that  particular  body  with  which  the  pipe  was  buried,  and 
the  other  bodies  interred  in  the  side  of  the  mound  at  a  subsequent  period. 
The  condition  of  the  remains  would  seem  to  favor  this  view,  the  humerus 
being  the  only  remaining  part  of  the  body  to  which  it  belonged,  while  several 
portions  of  skeletons  from  the  other  graves  were,  though  very  much  decayed, 
quite  firm   in  comparison;  one  skull  (figure  3)  being  preserved  entire.      Mr. 


FIG.  3. 

Brewer  presented  this  skull  and  pipe  to  Professor  S.  A.  Lattimore  of  the  Uni- 
versity of  Rochester,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  their  use. 

In  March,  1882,  a  human  skeleton  of  large  proportions  was  unearthed  near 
the  former  location  of  the  east  mound.  The  laborers,  astonished  at  the  great 
size  of  the  bones,  engaged  in  a  discussion  as  to  whether  it  was  or  was  not  the 


26  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

remains  of  a  human  being,  and,  with  true  Hibernian  method,  broke  the  skele- 
ton into  fragments  to  prove  the  case. 

As  previously  stated,  the  only  landing  on  the  east  side  of  the  lower  Gen- 
esee is  at  the  base  of  the  bluff  upon  which  the  ridge  mounds  were  situated, 
and  is  now  known  as  Brewer's  landing.  In  their  journey  from  the  lower  to 
the  upper  Genesee,  the  Indians  usually  made  a  portage  around  the  falls  of 
Rochester,  carrying  their  canoes  from  this  landing  to  near  the  mouth  of  Red 
creek,  above  the  rapids  in  South  Rochester,  where  the  light  crafts  were  again 
launched  upon  the  river  and  found  a  clear  passage  up  the  unobstructed  chan- 
nel to  Mount  Morris.  That  was  the  established  "Voute  one  hundred  years  ago, 
but  good  and  valid  reasons  induee  a  belief  that  the  more  ancient  landing  was 
at  Hanford's,  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Genesee,  about  one-fourth  of  a  mile  be- 
low, or  north  of  Brewer's  landing;  and  that  the  two  places  were  connecting 
points  in  a  general  highway  extending  east  and  west  along  the  ridge.  Evi- 
dence is  not  wanting  to  prove  that  another  grand  road  once  extended  westward 
from  Hanford's  landing,  with  diverging  branches  running  to  distant  points. 
This  road  was  not  in  use  some  miles  west  of  the  river  one  hundred  years  ago, 
and  that  portion  of  it  has  probably  been  abandoned  for  two  or  three  centu- 
ries ;  but,  possessing  a  general  knowledge  of  Indian  methods  of  trailing,  the 
topography  of  the  country,  and  the  probable  objective  points,  the  writer  is 
slowly  tracing  the  course  of  this  older  highway  from  the  Genesee  at  Rochester 
to  the  Alleghany  and  Ohio  rivers  and  Lake  Erie. 

Discoveries  have  been  made,  at  various  places  along  this  supposed  route,  of 
mounds  and  burial  grounds  containing  human  skeletons  considerably  larger 
than  men  of  the  present  day,  copper  ornaments,  etc.,  and  one  or  two  instances 
will  be  given.  In  excavating  for  sand  on  the  farm  of  Samuel  Truesdale,  in  the 
town  of  Greece,  in  1878,  several  skeletons  were  disinterred,  one  from  its  im- 
mense size  attracting  particular  attention.  Nearly  the  entire  frame  was  secured 
and  removed  to  a  level  spot  between  two  trees,  where  Warren  Truesdale  placed 
each  bone  in  its  natural  position.  The  skeleton  thus  reformed  measured  over 
eight  feet  in  length.  A  piece  of  mica  and  a  rude  arrow  point  were  found  in 
the  grave  above  the  bones,  which  were  about  three  feet  below  the  general  sur- 
face, and  entirely  separate  from  the  other  skeletons.  A  small  mound,  perhaps 
a  foot  in  height,  marked  the, spot. 

Half  a  mile  west  of  Mr.  Truesdale's  farm  the  Erie  canal  turns  abruptly  to 
the  west  along  the  brow  of  the  mountain-ridge,  and  constitutes  the  northern 
boundary  of  George  H.  Lee's  farm.  The  ridge  at  this  place  rises  in  a  gentle 
swell  above  the  surrounding  surface,  and,  at  its  highest  part,  is  from  sixteen  to 
twenty  feet  above  the  canal  bottom.  The  ground  was  cleared  in  i8r8,  by 
David  Oviatt,  of  a  dense  forest  of  beech  and  maple,  many  of  the  trees  being 
full  thirty  inches  in  diameter.  Not  the  slightest  trace  of  former  settlement  or 
human  occupation  of  the  ground  existed.     In  1820  or    1822  the  Erie   canal 


Skeleton  Remains  of  the  Mound-builders.  27 

was  constructed  through  the  northern  slope  of  this  ridge.  During  the  work 
some  twenty  skeletons  were  exhumed  from  the  ground  directly  beneath  the 
stumps  of  the  forest  trees.  The  soil  is  composed  of  from  six  to  twelve 
inches  of  black  mould  overlying  a  bed  of  clay,  very  compact  when  m  situ,  but 
loose-grained  and  easily  crumbled  when  exposed  to  the  atmosphere.  So  tena- 
cious is  the  character  of  this  clay  bed,  excluding  to  a  great  degree  both  air  and 
water,  that  all  larger  bones  of  the  skeletons  were  preserved  in  perfect  form, 
from  skull  to  instep  inclusive ;  some  of  them  being  carefully  uncovered  and 
the  bones  laid  in  their  natural  order  on  the  ground,  measured  from  $cvcn  feet 
upward.'  No  article  of  any  description  was  found  in  the  graves.  In  1879  a 
beautiful  rling-stone  ax  was  plowed  up  in  a  field  near  the  ancient  burial  ground. 
It  is  very  hard,  gives  forth  a  clear  metallic  sound  when  struck,  and  the  edge  is 
as  finely  beveled  as  a  steel  ax  of  modern  make.  It  is  a  splendid  specimen  of 
polished  stone  workmanship,  ten  and  a  half  inches  long,  two  and  a  half  wide 
and  one  and  a  half  inches  thick. 

Dependent  as  certain  of  these  statements  are  upon  the  results  of  future 
research  for  a  correct  understanding  of  their  relative  worth  and  bearing,  the 
advance  of  specific  conclusions  regarding  the  subject  in  question  might  appear 
unwise ;  but,  while  the  discovery  of  lately  existing  monuments  and  traces  of  a 
people  superior  to  the  red  men  in  physical  structure,  the  mythology  of  the 
latter  and  other  evidence  of  a  similar  nature  serve  to  strengthen  a  personal 
belief  in  the  pre-Indian  occupation  of  our  home  territory,  the  facts  presented, 
and  many  matters  not  here  shown,  are  but  niinor  paragraphs  of  a  volume  of 
cumulative  evidence  that  might  be  compiled.  Such  facts  have  exercised  an 
influence  upon  reflective  minds  leading  to  firm  conviction,  and  able  writers 
have  repeatedly  affirmed  the  conclusion.  Governor  De  Witt  Clinton,  an  early 
historian  of  the  locality  of  Rochester,  was  particularly  impressed  with  this  idea, 
and  Orsamus  Turner,  author  of  the  History  of  the  Holland  Purchase,  reiterates 
it  in  numerous  passages  of  his  works.     He  says  :  — 

"  Our  advent  here  is  but  one  of  the  changes  of  time.  We  are  consulting  dumb  signs, 
inanimate  and  unintelligible  witnesses,  gleaning  but  unsatisfactory  knowledge  of  races 
that  have  preceded  us We  are  surrounded  by  evidences  that  a  race  pre- 
ceded them  (the  red  men),  further  advanced  in  arts,  and  far  more  numerous.  The  up- 
rooted trees  of  the  forest,  that  are  the  growth  of  centuries,  expose  their  mouldering 

remains,  uncovered  mounds  reveal  masses  of  their  skeletons In  our  valleys, 

upon  our  hillsides,  the  plow  and  the  spade  discover  their  rude  implements,  adapted  to 
war,  the  chase  and  domestic  use.  All  these  are  dumb,  yet  eloquent  chronicles  of  by- 
gone ages We  are  prone  to  speak  of  ourselves  as  inhabitants  of  a  New  world, 

and  yet  we  are  confronted  with  these  evidences  of  antiquity.  We  clear  away  the  forests 
and  speak  familiarly  of  subduing  a  virgin  soil;  yet  our  plows  upturn  the  skulls  of  those 
whose  history  is  lost." 

'  Junior  Pioneer  Historical  Collections,  by  Jarvis  M.  Hatch,  p.  29.     This  statement  was  confirmed 
by  the  late  Wilson  D.  Oviatt,  Daniel  E.  Harris  and  others. 


28  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

The   Red  Men  —  Their  Traditional  Origin  and  Occupation   of  New  York  —  Dispersion  of   the 
Trilies  —  League  of  the  Iroquois  —  Vale  of  the  Senecas  —  Ancient  Nations  of  the  Genesee  Country. 

PUZZLING  as  the  remains  of  the  Mound-builders  prove  to  the  archaeolo- 
gist, the  early  history  of  their  Indian  successors  is  no  less  a  problem  to 
the  historian.  Nearly  four  centuries  have  elapsed  since  Eiiropeans  came  into 
personal  intercourse  with  the  latter,  and  half  a  million  of  the  race  still  exist 
upon  American  soil,  yet  their  origin  is  buried  in  the  depths  of  a  gloom  so 
profound  that  no  man  has  ever  traced  it  to  its  source. 

The  length  of  time  our  Indian  predecessors  have,  occupied  this  continent 
has  never  been  ascertained,  though  it  is  unquestionably  a  fact  that  they  were 
not  indigenous.  The  weight  of  evidence  thus  far  favors  the  theory  of  Asiatic 
descent,  but  in  "the  absence  of  written,  pictorial,  or  sculptural  history  it  is 
impossible  to  trace  clearly  the  connection  between  wandering  savages  and 
their  remote  ancestry."''  Centuries  of  nomadic  and  climatic  changes  have 
effectually  obliterated  direct  proof  of  such  connections,  and  Indian  mythology 
asserts  the  origin  of  many  tribes  as  local  to  their  habitation. 

The  Senecas  ascribe  their  origin  to  a  great  hill  at  the  head  of  Canandaigua 
lake,  but  Morgan  explains  that  "by  this  legendary  invention  they  designed  to 
convey  an  impression  of  the  remoteness  of  the  period  of  their  first  occupation 
of  New  York,"^  and  presents  other  traditionary  evidences  showing  the  lower 
St.  Lawrence^  to  have  been  the  earliest  known  abode  of  the  original  families 
from  which  the  Six  Nations  were  descended.  These  ancient  people  were  of 
the  Huron-Iroquois  stock.  They  were  expelled  from  the  lower  St.  Lawrence 
by  the  Algonkins,  to  whom  they  had  been  subject,  and  migrated  westward  up 
that  river.  Entering  Lake  Ontario  they  coasted  the  south  shore  in  search  of 
a  suitable  place  to  locate.  Historical  accounts  of  this  migration  vary.  Macau- 
ley  states  that  the  Iroquois  then  consisted  of  only  two  tribes,  the  Mohawks 
and  Senecas,  that  they  entered  the  Oswego  and  Genesee  rivers,  conquered  the 
Mohawk  and  Genesee  countries  first,  and  the  intermediate  space  subsequently.  ^ 
President  Dwight  believed  the  original  settlements  of  the  Six  Nations  in  New 
York  to  have  been  identical  with  those  in  which  they  were  found  by  Euro- 
peans, while  Colden  and  Smith  thought  the  Iroquois  originated  and  remained 
upon  the  grounds  of  their  latter-time  occupation.  Morgan  says  that  at  the 
migration  from  the  St.  Lawrence  the  Iroquois  entered  the  central  parts  of 
New  York  through  the  channel  of  the  Oswego  river.     Their  first  settlements 

'  How  the  World  was  Peopled,  by  Edward  Fontaine. 
'  League  of  the  Iroquois,  p.  7. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  5;  see  also  Colden,  History  of  the  Five  Nations,  p.  23;  Cusic,  Ancient  History  of  the 
Six  Nations,  p.  16. 

*  Macauley's  History  of  New   York,  vol.  2,  p.  184. 

3 


Traditional  Origin  ok  the  Indians.  29 


were  located  upon  the  Seneca  river,  where  for  a  time  they  dwelt  together.  At 
a  subsequent  day  they  divided  into  bands,  and  spread  to  found  new  villages. ' 
In  his  interesting  work,  Legends,  Customs  and  Social  Life  of  the  Seneca 
Indians,  Rev.  Mr.  Sanborn  gives  a  legend  still  preserved  in  that  nation,  which 
makes  all  Indians  the  descendants  of  one  family  originally  located  whert;  now 
are  New  York  and  Brooklyn.  It  describes  the  migrations  and  final  location  of 
tribes,  in  nearly  the  same  manner  as  Cusic's  account.  The  latter's  quaint 
history  appears  to  be  the  version  from  which  several  others  were  derived.  In 
the  Iroquois  Book  of  Rites,  Mr.  Hale  follows  Cusic,  who  supposes  a  body  of 
Iroquois  concealed  in  a  mountain  near  the  Oswego  falls.  .  Upon  their  libera- 
tion by  the  "Holder  of  the  Heavens,"  they  went  around  a  mountain  and 
followed  the  Mohawk  and  Hudson  rivers  to  the  ocean.  '  Some  of  the  people 
continued  southward,  but  the  main  company,  under  the  guidance  of  the 
Holder  of  the  Heavens,  returned  up  the  Hudson  to  the  Mohawk  river. 
Along  this  stream  and  the  upper  waters  of  the  Hudson  the  first  families  made 
their  abode.  Their  language  was  soon  altered  and  they  were  named  Te-haw- 
re-ho-geh — that  is,  "a  speech  divided"  —  now  Mohawk.'^  The  other  families 
journeyed  westward  from  the  Mohawks,  and,  halting  at  various  places,  took 
up  separate  abodes.  The  Oneidas,  near  a  creek,  were  termed  Ne-haw-re- 
tah-go,  or  Big  Tree-  people  ;  the  Onondagas,  on  a  mountain,  were  known 
as  the  Seuh-now-kah-tah,  "carrying  their  name;''  the  Cayugas,  near  a 
long  lake,  were  named  Sho-nea-na-we-to-wah,  " a  great  pipe ; "  the  Seuecas, 
near  a  high  mountain  south  of  Canandaigua  lake,  received  the  name  Te-how- 
nea-nyo-hent,   "possessing  a  door." 

The  sixth  family  continued  their  journey  toward  the  setting  sun  and 
touched  the  bank  of  the  great  lake  Kan-ha-gwa-rah-ka  ("a  cap"),  now  Lake 
Erie.  Turning  southward  they  came  to  a  great  river,  which  Cusic  designates 
the  Mississippi,  but  which  Hale  shows  to  have  been  the  Ohio;  the  people  dis- 
covered a  grape  vine  lying  across  the  river  and  attempted  to  pass  over  the 
water  on  this  rude  bridge,  which  broke  and  left  them  divided.  Those  who 
were  upon  the  further  side  of  the  river  continued  their  way,  and  after  long 

1  League  of  the  Iroqiwis,  p.  6. 

2  Hale  says  the  Huron  speech  became  the  Iroquois  tongue,  in  the  form  in  which  it  is  spoken  by  the 
Mohawks.  In  Iroquois  tradition,  and  in  the  constitution  of  their  league,  the  Mohawk  nation  ranks  as 
tlie  eldest  lirother  of  the  family.  A  comparison  of  the  dialects  proves  the  tradition  to  be  well  founded. 
The  Mohawk  language  approaches  the  nearest  to  the  Huron,  and  is  undoubtedly  the  source  from 
which  all  other  Iroquois  dialects  are  derived.  Mr.  Hale  refers  to  the  Mohawks  as  the  Caniengas.  The 
latter  designation  is  said  to  be  derived  from  that  of  one  of  their  ancient  towns.  This  name  is  Kani- 
enke,  "at  the  flint."  Kamien,  in  their  language,  signifies  flint,  and  the  final  syllable  is  the  same 
locative  particle  which  we  find  in  Onontake,  "at  the  mountain."  In  pronunciation  and  spelling,  this, 
like  other  Indian  words,  is  much  varied,  both  by  the  natives  themselves  and  by  their  white  neighbors, 
becoming  Kanieke,  Kanyenke,  Canyengeh  and  Canienga.  (The  latter  form,  which  accords  with  the 
sister  names  of  Onondaga  and  Cayuga,  is  adopted  by  the  author  in  his  Book  of  Rites,  but  it  is  not 
probable  that  the  word  will  ever  displace  the  familiar  historical  designation — Mohawk). 


30  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

wandering  settled  near  the  mouth  of  the  Neuse  river.  They  were  named 
Kau-to-nah,  and  are  now  known  as  Tuscaroras. ' 

The  speech  of  all  the  nations  thus  formed  was  altered,  but  not  to  an  extent 
preventing  them  from  an  understanding  of  one  another's  language.  The 
people  left  upon  the  near  side  of  the  river  were  dispersed,  and  each  family 
sought  residences  according  to  their  convenience.*  The  various  accounts  of 
this  dispersion  are  meager,  but  it  is  believed  that  all  nations  and  tribes  of  red 
men  who  occupied  the  country  between  Canandaigua  lake  and  Lake  Erie,  the 
Alleghany  mountains  and  Lake  Ontario,  were  ofTshoots  of  the  Senecas;  that 
the  dispersed  families  in  time  grew  into  tribal' communities  and  were  known 
by  various  names.  Those  who  settled  about  the  mountains  to  the  south  were 
called  Andastes,  Canestogas,  etc.  Those  who  dwelt  along  the  shore  of  the 
lake  were  known  as  the  Eries,  and  northeast  of  them  were  the  Attiwan- 
daronks.  Philologists  assert  that  the  languages  of  all  these  people,  so  far  as 
can  be  ascertained,  differed  but  little  from  the  Seneca  tongue;  but  it  is  certain 
that  long  anterior  to  the  white  man's  intrusion  on  the  soil  of  Western  New 
York  they  had  become  nations  distinct  from  the  Seneca.  Cusic  and  Sanborn 
agree  in  the  statement  that  the  famous  league  of  the  Five  Nations  was  formed 
at  a  period  not  long  subsequent  to  the  dispersion,  but  in  the  loose  chronology 
of  the  Indians'  verbal  history  no  definite  idea  of  dates  can  be  obtained.  It  is 
only  by  comparison  with  some  contemporary  event  recorded  in  the  annals  of 
civilisation,  that  the  time  of  the  occurrence  can  be  fixed.  Morgan  places  the 
origin  of  the  league  in  1459,^  and  this  date  is  in  accordance  with  deductions 
of  later  historians. 

The  founder  of  the  league  was  an  Onondaga  chieftain  named  Hiawatha, 
who  succeeded  in  uniting  the  Mohawks,  Oneidas,  Onondagas,  Cayugas  and 
Senecas  in  one  great  family,  whose  bond  of  common  interest  was  strengthened 
by  ties  of  blood.  To  the  English  they  were  known  as  the  Five  Nations.  By 
the  French  they  were  called  Iroquois,  and  that  name  was  applied  to  all  the 
members  of  the  league.  The  native  name  of  the  confederacy  is  given  differ- 
ently by  historians,  but  all  agree  upon  its  signification.  According  to  Cusic  it 
was  Ggo-nea-seab-neh.  Macauley  and  Hale,  both  of  whom  derived  their  in- 
formation directly  from  the  Mohawks,  render  it  respectively  Aganuschioni  and 
Kanonsionni.  Morgan,  whose  knowledge  of  the  Six  Nations  was  acquired 
from  the  Senecas,  states  that  after  the  formation  of  the  league,  the  Iroquois 
called  themselves  the  Ho-de-no-sau-nee,  which  signifies  "the  people  of  the 
long  house.  "     It  grew  out  of  the  circumstance  that  they  likened  their  confcd- 

1  In  the  Seneca  dialect  the  name  of  the  Tuscaroras  was  Dus-ga-o-weh,  "the  shirt-wearing  people;" 
the  Cayugas  were  Gue-u-gweh-o-no,  "the  people  at  the  mucky  land;  "  the  Onondagas  were  Onun-da- 
ga-o-no,  "the  people  on  the  hills;"  the  Oneidas  were  O-na-yote-ha,  "the  granite  people;"  the 
Mohawks,  Ga-ne-a-ga-o-no;  the  Senecas,  Nun-da-wa-o-no. — Morgan,  pp.  51  and  52. 

2  Cusic's  Ancient  History  of  the  Six  Nations, 

3  Systems  of  Consanguinity  and  Ajffiiiity  of  the  Human  Family,  p.  151. 


The  Neutral  Nation.  31 


eracy  to  a  long  house,  having  partitions  and  separate  fires,  after  their  ancient 
method  of  building  houses,  within  which  the  several  nations  were  sheltered 
under  one  roof  The  eastern  door  was  on  the  Hudson  river,  the  western  door 
at  the  Genesee.  The  confederation  was  simply  for  common  defense,  and  each 
nation  or  canton  was  a  sovereign  republic,  composed  of  clans,  governed  by  its 
•  own  chiefs  and  sachems.  No  enterprise  of  importance  was  ever  undertaken, 
either  by  the  league,  or  by  individual  nations,  without  first  considering  the 
matter  in  council.  The  great  councils  of  the  league  were  held  at  Onondaga, 
but  each  nation  and  tribe  had  a  particular  location  for  its  council  fire,  which 
was  always  lighted  before  deliberations  began.  The  primeval  council  fire  of 
the  Senecas  was  at  Genundawah,  near  the  head  of  Canandaigua  lake,  and  in 
the  light  of  its  steady  flame  were  formed  the  first  war  parties  of  the  nation 
From  Genundawah  the  Senecas  went  forth  upon  their  first  expeditions  against 
tribes  to  the  west,  and  there  the  victorious  warriors  were  welcomed  home  from 
battle  with  all  the  pomp  of  barbaric  fashion. 

Before  the  Senecas  crossed  the  Genesee  in  conquest,  several  nations  of  red 
men  occupied  the  land  to  the  west.  Those  who  owned  the  country  bordering 
the  lower  Genesee  were  called  Kak-kwas  by  the  Senecas,  and  were  known  to 
the  French  as  the  Attiwandaronk,  or  Neutral  Nation.  Brebeuf,  the  Jesuit,  says 
the  name  Attiwandaronk  was  applied  to  them  by  the  Hurons,  and  signifies 
"people  of  a  language  a  little  different.  "  The  French  termed  them  Neutral, 
from  the  fact  that  they  took  no  part  in  the  war  between  the  Hurons,  Algonkins 
and  Iroquois.  Members  of  those  antagonistic  nations  met  upon  neutral  ground 
in  the  territory  of  the  Attiwandaronks,  and  the  towns  of  the  latter  afforded 
safe  refuge  to  fleeing  parties  of  all  the  surrounding  tribes. 

The  country  of  the  Neutral  Nation  was  south  of  Lake  Ontario,  and  ex- 
tended from  the  Genesee  westward  nearly  to  the  shore  of  Huron,  including  the 
Niagara  river  and  a  portion  of  the  north  coast  of  Lake  Erie.  The  Relations 
of  the  Jesuits  describe  them  as  living  in  twenty-eight  villages,  under  the  rule 
of  a  noted  war-chief  named  Souharissen.  Their  council  fires  were  along  the 
Niagara,  and  their  town  nearest  the  Genesee  but  one  day's  journey  from  the 
Senecas.  They  were  superior  to  the  Hurons  in  stature  and  strength,  and  the 
men  frequently  went  entirely  naked.  The  early  French  missionaries  who  pen- 
etrated their  country  found  the  Attiwandaronks  exceedingly  suspicious  of  all 
intruders,  but  succeeded  in  visiting  eighteen  of  their  towns. 

The  neutrality  so  long  maintained  by  these  people  was  forcibly  broken  by 
the  Senecas  in  1647.  For  some  reason  not  well  understood,  the  latter  sud- 
denly attacked  the  Attiwandaronks,  and  as  early  as  165 1  had  subdued  the 
entire  nation.  All  old  and  feeble  men  and  children  were  put  to  death  and  the 
surviving  warriors  and  women  adopted  by  the  conquerors.  In  time  tribal  dis- 
tinctions were  forgotten,  and  the  descendants  of  the  captive  Attiwandaronks 


*  League  of  the  Iroquois,  p.  51. 


32  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

became  Senecas  in  heart  and  name.  The  destruction  of  the  Neutral  Nation, 
and  the  overthrow  of  the  Eries  in  1655,  gave  the  conquerors  control  of  all  the 
country  bordering  the  Genesee  river,  between  the  Alleghany  mountains  and 
Lake  Ontario ;  and  in  after  days  the  great  valley  of  the  Genesee  was  known  as 
the  "Vale  of  the  Senecas. "  Within  the  historical  period  the  council  fire  of  the 
nation  kindled  at  Genundawah  has  illumined  the  gloomy  forest  at  Ga-o-sa-eh- 
ga-aah  near  Victor,  gleamed  brightly  in  the  pleasant  valley  of  the  Genesee,  and 
cast  its  expiring  light  over  the  shattered  remnants  of  this  once  mighty  people 
at  Lake  Erie ;  yet  for  nearly  three  centuries  after  Columbus  kissed  the  ocean- 
laved  sands  of  San  Salvador,  the  Senecas  held  possession  and  control  of  the 
land  originally  occupied  by  them  in  the  Genesee  country,  erected  their  rude 
cabins  on  its  watercourses,  roamed  its  hills  and  dales,  hunted  through  its  forest 
glades,  lived,  fought  and  died  brave,  lordly  masters  of  the  soil  inherited  from 
their  fathers,  whose  crumbling  bones  the  plow  of  the  pale  face  still  upturns  as 
the  seasons  of  harvest  recur. 


CHAPTER   V. 

Water  Trails  —  Terminology  of  the  Genesee  River  and  Irondequoit  Bay  —  Little  Beard's  Town  — 
Casconchagon  —  The  Jesuits  —  Indian  Expedition  up  the  Genesee  —  The  Mouth  of  the  Genesee  Prac- 
tically at  Irondequoit  Bay  —  Early  Maps  —  Teoronto  Bay  —  Mississauge  Indians  the  Last  at  Ironde- 
quoit. . 

ALL  tradition  of  ancient  migrations  of  the  red  men  refer  to  some  navigable 
waiter  as  the  route  over  which  they  came,  or  went.  The  canoe  was  the 
earliest  known  conveyance .  of  primitive  man,  and  water  was  his  favorite  high- 
way. Says  Bancroft:  "Emigration  by  water  suits  the  genius  of  savage  life  ;  a 
gulf,  a  strait,  the  sea  intervening  between  islands,  divides  less  than  the  matted 
forest.  To  the  uncivilised  man  no  path  is  free  but  the  sea,  the  lake  and  the 
river."' 

The  Iroquois  entered  New  York  from  Lake  Ontario.  Their  first  journey 
was  down  the  Mohawk  and  Hudson  to  the  ocean,  and  their  return  up  those 
rivers  was  accomplished  in  canoes.''  In  the  near  vicinity  of  the  numerous  lakes 
and  streams  of  the  interior  were  founded  their  earliest  and  largest  settlements. 
The  Genesee  has  ever  been  the  principal  natural  water  highway  of  Western 
New  York,  and  for  unnumbered  Centuries  the  light  crafts  of  the  natives  have 
glided  over  this  limpid  trail  on  missions  of  peace  and  war.     Constituting,  as  it 

'  History  of  the  United  States,  vol.  III.,  p.  317. 

i  Legends  of  the  Senecas,  by  J.  W.  Sanborn,  p.  11.  In  his  narration  of  this  migration,  the  great 

historian  of  the  Senecas  informed  Rev.    Mr.   Sanborn  that  the  people  carried  their  canoes  from  one 

stream,  or  body  of  water,  to  another.  , 


Indian  Occupation  of  the  Genesee  Valley.  33 

did,  the  original  western  boundary  line  of  their  territory,  the  river  was  well 
known  to  all  the  Iroquois  nations.  After  the  destruction  of  Gaosaehgaah  by 
DeNonville,  the  Senecas  occupied  the  Genesee  valley,  and  in  early  colonial 
times  their  great  town  was  near  the  confluence  of  the  river  and  Canaseraga 
creek.  At  a  subsequent  period  it  was  located  near  the  present  site  of  Cuyler- 
ville.  One  hundred  years  ago  it  bore  the  name  of  its  chief,  Little  Beard.  It 
was  termed  the  Chinesee  Castle,  and  in  the  old  colonial  records,  of  a  date  prior 
to  Little  Beard's  occupation  of  the  place,  it  is  variously  mentioned  as  Chen-us- 
sio,  Chin-as-si-o,  Chen-nu-assio,  Chin-es-se,  Chin-os-sio,  Chen-ne-se-co,  Gen- 
is-hau,  Gen-nis-hc-yo,  Gcn-ish-a-u,  Jen-nis-sec-ho,  Gen-ne-se-o,  Gen-nc-see, 
The  apparent  discrepancy  in  the  orthography  of  the  word  is  easily  explained 
when  it  is  understood  that  every  tribe  of  the  Six  Nations  conversed  in  its  own 
dialect,  and  that  each  tribe  in  the  same  nation  possessed  peculiarities  of  speech 
not  common  in  other  tribes.  All  Indian  names,  either  of  persons  or  of  places,- 
are  significant  of  some  supposed  quality,  appearance,  or  local  situation,  in  brief 
are  descriptive,  and  the  tribes  denominated  persons  and  places  in  conformity 
to  such  quality,  etc.,  in  their  own  dialects. 

The  Indians  had  no  permanent  names  for  places,  and  before  Little  Beard's 
time  the  town  was  known  only  by  its  descriptive  title  of  Gen-nis-he-o,  the  pro- 
nunciation of  which  was  varied  by  the  different  tribes,  according  to  the  pecul- 
iarities of  each  dialect,  yet  all  signifying  the  same  thing  substantially  —  to-wi't, 
Gcn-ish-a-u,  "shining-clear-opening;"  Chen-ne-se-co,  "pleasant-clear-open- 
ing;" Gcn-ne-sec,  "clear-valley  "  or  "pleasant-open-valley  ;"  Gen-nis-he-yo, 
"beautiful  valley."  This  term  was  local  and  originally  applied  only  to  that- 
portion  of  tlie  river  near  Cuylerville  then  occupied  by  the  Chen-nus-se-o  In- 
dians, but  owing  to  the  large  size  of  the  town,  and  its  important  location,  the 
name  Genesee  gradually  displaced  all  others  and  became  the  general  designa- 
tion of  the  entire  river.  Ga-hun-da  is  a  common  noun  signifying  a  "river"  or 
"creek."  The  Iroquois  usually  afifixed  it  to  the  proper  name  of  a  sti'eam,  as 
Gen-is-he-yo  Ga-hun-da  or  Genesee  river. 

The  native  name  of  the  lower  Genesee  first  mentioned  by  early  writers  is 
Casconchagon.  According  to  Bruyas,  a  Jesuit  missionary  to  the  Five  Nations, 
the  literal  meaning  of  the  name  by  which  the  Mohawks  and  Onondagas  dis- 
tinguished the  Genesee  river  is  "at  the  fall,"  Gascons-age.  It  is  derived 
from  Gasco,  "something  alive  in  the  kettle;"  as  if  the  waters  were  agitated 
by  some  living  animal, '  The  Seneca  name  is  Gaskosago.  Morgan  renders 
the  interpretation  "Under  the  Falls,"  and  in  his  table  exhibiting  the  dialect- 
ical variations  of  the  language  of  the  Iroquois,  as  illustrated  *in  their  geo- 
graphical names,  gives  the  inflective  differences  of  the  name,  as  pronounced 
by  the  Six  Nations.'' 

1  N.   Y.  Col.  Mss.,  IX.,  1092. 

2  League  of  the  Iroquois,  p.  394. 


34  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

In  the  Jesuit  Relations  for  1662-3,  Father  Lallemant  says  that  in  the 
month  of  April  (1663)  eight  hundred  Iroquois  warriors  proceeded  from  the 
western  end  of  Lake  Ontario  to  a  fine  river  resembling  the  St.  Lawrence,  but 
free  from  falls  and  rapids,  which  they  descended  one  hundred  leagues  to  the 
principal  Andastogue  village,  which  was  found  to  be  strongly  fortified,  and  the 
aggressors  were  repulsed.  In  a  note,  embodying  the  above  statement,  on 
page  37  of  Early  Chapters  of  Cayuga  History,  by  Charles  Hawley,  D.  D., 
General  John  S.  Clark  says:  "This  route  appears  to  have  been  through  the 
Genesee  river,  to  Canaseraga  creek,  thence  up  that  stream  and  by  a  short 
portage  to  Canisteo  river,  and  thence  down  the  Canisteo,  Chemung  and  Sus- 
quehanna rivers  to  the  fort.  This  route  is  indicated  on  the  earlier  maps,  .as 
one  continuous  river,  flowing  from  Lake  Ontario." 

In  the  map  prepared  by  General  Clark,  for  Rev.  Dr.  Hawley's  work,  the 
■  route  pursued  by  the  expedition  is  represented  as  extending  from  the  head  of 
Irondequoit  bay  southwesterly  to  the  Genesee  river,  and  doubtless  had  refer- 
ence to  the  portage  trail  (described  in  chapter  VI.)  between  Irondequoit  landing 
and  Red  creek  ford.  Though  the  route  by  the  lower  Genesee  and  around  the 
falls,  on  the  present  site  of  Rochester,  was  several  miles  less  than  by  the  Iron- 
dequoit portage,  the  Iroquois  appear  to  have  preferred  the  latter  course  as  the 
better  known  and  established  road.  On  Guy  Johnson's  map  of  the  country 
of  the  Six  Nations,  in  1771,  this  trail  is  plainly  indicated  as  the  "Indian  path 
to  the  lake,"  and  many  circumstances  within  the  knowledge  of  the  present 
writer  induce  a  belief  that  in  Indian  times  Irondequoit  bay  was  considered  the 
the  practical  mouth  of  the  Genesee  river.  In  certain  old  records  the  names 
Casconchagon  and  Irondequoit  are  occasionally  applied  equally  to  river  and 
bay,  as  though  having  reference  to  one  locality,  but  the  former  appears  to 
have  been  least  known,  and  it  is  quite  certain  that,  to  all  the  vast  country 
of  the  Senecas,  Irondequoit  bay  was  the  northern  outlet.  Its  geographical 
position  on  the  southern  shore  of  Lake  Ontario,  midway  between  Chouaguen 
(Oswego)  and  Niagara,  rendered  it  the  most  convenient  and  important  place, 
in  a  military  yiew,  in  the  Genesee  country.  It  was  the  objective  point  of  all 
expeditions,  peaceful  or  warlike,  to  and  from  the  Senecas,  and  from  its  head- 
waters trails  ran  to  every  part  of  the  Iroquois  territory,  connecting  with  others 
to  all  parts  of  the  continent. 

From  the  shadow  of  grim  old  woods  near  its  shores  and  dense  thickets  of 
matted  vines  concealing  its  numerous  dells,  the  glittering  eyes  of  savage  sen- 
tinels kept  watch,  o'er  the  blue  expanse  of  Ontario  for  expected  friends  and 
foes.  Under  its  pine-mantled  cliffs  the  Indian  chieftains  rendezvoused  their 
navies  of  birchen  bark,  and  reckoned  their  numbers  on  belts  of  wampum. 
Around  its  borders  echoed  the  "shrill  yell  of  barbarian  hordes,"  and  the  deep 
thunder  of  the  pale^faces'  cannon.  Palisaded  fortifications  of  red  and  white 
men  have  guarded  the  narrow  passages  at  either  extremity  of  the  bay,  and 


Irondequoit  Bay.  35 


fleets  of  both  races  battled  on  the  lake  within  shot  of  its  entrance.  Great 
armies  of  savage  and  civilised  nations  have  occupied  its  broad  sand-beach, 
sought  refuge  within  its  sheltering  headlands  and  marched  their  serried 
columns  over  its  tabled  elevations.  Every  point  and  nook  about  the  grand 
old  bay  has  its  thrilling  history;  yet  few  among  the  thousands  who  daily  roam 
the  shady  groves  of  Irondequoit  in  summer,  gaining  health  and  strength  in 
every  draught  of  the  pure  lake  breeze,  know  aught  of  the  stirring  events  of 
by-gone  days  enacted  on  these  very  grounds. 

The  first  mention  of  Irondequoit  bay,  found  in  the  Documents  Relating  to 
the  Colonial  History  of  New  York,  is  that  of  Rev.  Jean  de  Lamberviile,  a 
Jesuit  missionary  to  the  Five  Nations,  in  a  letter  written  at  or  near  Onondaga, 
July  13th,  1684,  to  M.  de  la  Harre,  governor  of  Canada.  Therein  the  reverend 
father  refers  to  an  expected  visit  of  the  French  official  to  Kan-ia-tare-on-ta- 
quoat.  The  name,  as  thus  given  by  De  Lamberviile,  is  from  the  Iroquois,  or 
Mohawk,  dialect,  and  signifies,  literally,  "an  opening  into,  or  from,  a  lake;"  an 
inlet  or  bay,  from  Kaniatarc,  "a  lake,"  and  hontontogonan,  "to  open."'  Mar- 
shall says  the  Seneca  name  is  0-nyiu-da-on-da-gwat,  "it  turns  out  or  goes 
aside."^  Like  all  Indian  names  of  places,  it  is  descriptive,  and  refers  to  the 
prominent,  or  peculiar  feature  of  the  locality  to  which  it  is  applied,  and  the 
fact  that  the  south  shore  of  Ontario  is  indented  with  several  large  bays  which 
must  have  been  equally  well  known  to  the  natives  indicates  the  superior 
importance  of  Irondequoit  in  their  estimation,  as  the  bay  of  all.  Evidence  of 
this  is  found  in  early  maps  of  the  Lake  Ontario  region. 

The  earliest  known  map  of  this  part  of  the  country  was  published  in  1632, 
by  Champlain.  The  great  explorer  places  a  large  bay  on  the  south  shore  of 
Lake  Ontario  in  the  exact  location  of  Irondequoit,  but  omits  the  name.  The 
Jesuits'  map,  published  in  1664,  represents  Irondequoit  bay  and  spells  it 
"Andiatarontaouat."  Vangondy's  map,  published  in  Paris  in  1773,  renders  it 
"Ganientaoaguat."  Upon  the  great  map  of  Franquelin,  hydrographer  to  the 
king,  at  Quebec,  "drawn  in  1688,  by  order  of  the  governor  and  intendant 
of  New  France,  from  sixteen  years'  observations  of  the  author,"  Irondequoit 
bay  appears  as  "Gan-ni-a-tare-on-toquat,"  differing  slightly  in  orthography, 
yet  identical  with  the  name  mentioned  by  De  Lamberviile  a  few  years  before. 

A  conclusive  proof  of  the  great  importance  of  this  bay  in  the  view  of  past 
generations  is  found  in  the  fact  that  it  still  bears  the  native  name  by  which 
it  was  distinguished  at  the  advent  of  the  whites,  over  two  and.  a  half  centuries 
ago.  The  dissimilarity  of  tribal  pronunciation,  and  orthographic  variations  are 
illustrated  in  the  following  list  collated  from  many  sources:  Kan-ia-tare-on-to- 
guoat,  Ganni-a-tare-on-to-guoat,  Can  ia-ter-un-de-quat,  Adia-run-da-quat, 
Onia^da-ron-da-quat,    On-gui-da-onda  quoat,    Eu-taun-tu-quet,    Neo-da-on- 

1  N.  V.  Col.  Mss.,  IX.,  261. 

2  DeNonville's  Expedition,  by  O.    H.    Marshall,    in    Collections  of  New  York  Historical  Society, 
part  second,  p.  176. 


36  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

da-quat,  Tjer-on-da-quat,  The-ne-on-de-quat,  Tie-run-de-quat,  The-ron-de- 
quot,  Tie-ron-de-quat,  Tie-ron-te-quet,  Tis-o-ron-de-quat,  Ty-ron-de-quot, 
Tie-rond-quit,  0-ron-do-kott,  Run-di-cutt,  Ge-run-de-gutt,  Je-ron-do-kat, 
Je-ron-de-quet,  Je-ron-de-quate,  Jeron-de-kat,  Jar-ron-di-gat,  Qron-do-quat, 
Iron-de-gatt,  Iron-de-katt,  Iron-de-quat,  Iron-de-quot,  Iron-de-quoit. 

In  Spafford's  Gazetteer  of  New  York,  published  in  1824,  that  author  says 
the  Indians  called  it  Teoronto  (bay),  a  sonorous  and  purely  Indian  name,  too 
good  to  be  supplanted  by  such  vulgarisms  as  Gerundegut,  or  Irondequoit. 
The  Indians  pronounce  the  name  Tche-o-ron-tok,  its  signification  being  "where 
the  waves  breathe  and  die,"  or  "gasp  and  die."  Spafford  was  the  first  author 
to  make  this  assertion.  No  mention  of  the  name  Teoronto,  in  connection 
with  Irondequoit  bay,  can  be  found  elsewhere  than  in  his  work  previous  to  its 
issue  in  1824.  His  information  was  derived  from  a  correspondent  in  Roches- 
ter, whose  only  knowledge  of  the  matter  was  obtained  by  questioning  Indians 
then  living  on  the  Ridge  —  or  Oswego  —  trail,  about  one  mile  east  of  the  bay, 
in  the  town  of  Webster.'  They  were  not  Senecas  —  the  last  of  that  nation 
having  removed  to  reservations  about  1798-9  —  but  Mississauges.  The  tribe 
is  now  settled  on  Rice  lake,  in  Canada,  and  as  late  as  1853—4  parties  crossed 
Lake  Ontario  in  canoes  to  fish  and  hunt  at  Irondequoit  bay.  Doctor  Peter 
Crow  and  other  native  Mississauges  still  visit  thejr  white  friends  at  Ironde- 
quoit. The  name  Teoronto  was  accepted  by  English  writers,  and  is  occasion- 
ally revived  in  foreign  guide  books.  Marshall  tells  us  that  the  word  is  not 
Seneca  but  Mohawk,  and  its  true  signification  "a  place  where  there  is  a  jam 
of  floodwood."* 


CHAPTER  VI. 

Local  Trails  of  the  Genesee  —  Indian  Fords,  Towns  and  Fortifications  —  Hutler's  Rangers  —  hi- 
dian  Spring  —  Sacrifice  of  the  White  Dog  —  Flint  Quarry  —  Sgoh-sa-is-thah  —  I'orlage  'I'rails  — 
Irondequoit  Landing  —  The  Tories'  Retreat  —  Indian  Hall  Springs  —  Ancient  Mounds. 


"^ 


THILE  the  march  of  civilisation  had  advanced  beyond  the  Genesee  to  the 
north  and  west,  the  hunting-grounds  of  the  Senecas  were  still  in  their 
primitive  state,  and  the  cycle  of  a  century  is  not  yet  complete  since  the  white 
man  came  into  actual  possession  of  the  land  and  became  acquainted  with  its 
topographical  features.  To  the  pale-faced  adventurer  of  the  seventeenth  cent- 
ury to  whom  all  this  vast  territory  was  an  unexplored  blank,  viewing  the  land 

1  Old  settlers  on  Irondequoit  bay,  Amos  Knapp,  Isaac  Drake  and  others,  inform  me  that  they 
knew  the  Webster  Indians  well,  and  the  latter  possessed  neither  knowledge  nor  tradition  respecting 
the  ancient  name  and  history  of  the  bay. 

a  O.  II.  Marshall,  in  Collections  of  N .  Y.  Hist.  Society,  part  second,  p.  176. 


Local  Trails  of  the  Genesee.  37 

from  his  birchen  canoe  on  Laite  Ontario,  the  bays,  rivers  and  larger  creeks  pre- 
sented the  only  feasible  routes  by  which  it  could  be  entered  and  traversed,  yet, 
once  within  its  borders,  the  hardy  explorer  found  the  country  marked  by  an 
intricate  net-work  of  foot  paths  which  spread  in  every  direction.  These  dark 
wood  lanes  unknown  to  civilised  man,  their  soil  heretofore  pressed  only  by  the 
feet  of  Indians  and  wild  beasts,  will  ev^r  be  known  in  history  as  the  "  trails  of 
the  Genesee."  They  were  the  highways  and  by-waj's  of  the  native  inhabitants, 
the  channels  of  communication  between  nations,  tribes  and  scattering  towns, 
in  which  there  was  a  never-ceasing  ebb  and  flow  of  humanity. 

The  origin  of  these  trails  and  the  selection  of  the  routes  pursued  were  nat- 
ural results  of  the  every-day  necessities  and  inclinations  of  the  nomadic  race 
first  inhabiting  the  land,  and  time  had  gradually  fashioned  the  varying  interests 
of  successive  generations  into  a  crude  system  of  general  thoroughfares  to  which 
all  minor  routes  led.  To  find  the  beginning  and  end  of  these  grand  trails  one 
might  traverse  the  continent  in  a  fruitless  search,  for,  like  the  broader  roads  of 
the  present  white  population,  many  of  which  follow  the  old  trail  courses,  the 
beaten  paths  extended  from  ocean  to  ocean,  from  the  southern  point  of  Pata- 
gonia to  the  country  of  the  Eskimos,  where  they  were  lost  in  the  ever-shifting 
mantle  of  snow  covering  the  land  of  ice  —  and  the  trails  of  the  Genesee  were 
but  a  local  division  of  the  mighty  complication. 

In  general  appearance  these  roads  did  not  differ  in  any  particular  from  the 
ordinary  woods  or  meadow  path  of  the  present  day.  They  were  narrow  and 
winding,  but  usually  connected  the  objective  points  by  as  direct  a  course  as 
natural  obstacles  would  permit.  In  the  general  course  of  a  trail  three  points 
were  carefully  considered  —  first,  seclusion  ;  second,  directness,  and,  third,  a 
dry  path.  The  trail  beaten  was  seldom  over  fifteen  inches  broad,  passing  to 
the  right  or  left  of  trees  or  other  obstacles,  around  swamps  and  occasionally 
over  the  apex  of  elevations,  though  it  generally  ran  a  little  one  side  of  the  ex- 
treme top,  especially  in  exposed  situations.  Avoiding  open  places  save  in  the 
immediate  neighborhood  of  towns  and  camps,  it  was  universally  shaded  by  for- 
est trees.  A  somber  silence,  now  and  then  interrupted  by  the  notes  of  birds 
or  the  howling  of  beasts,  reigned  along  these  paths. '  Fallen  trees  and  logs  were 
never  removed,  the  trail  was  either  continued  over  or  took  a  turn  around  them. 
The  Indians  built  no  bridges,  small  streams  were  forded  or  crossed  on  logs, 
while  rivers  and  lakes  were  ferried  on  rafts  or  in  canoes. 

The  main  trail  of  the  Iroquois  extended  from  Hudson,  on  the  Hudson  river 
below  Albany,  westwardly  to  Buffalo,  crossing  the  Genesee  at  Cannawaugus  — 
now  Avon.  From  Canandaigua  lake  a  branch  ran  northwest  to  the  head  of 
irondequoit  bay,  then  to  the  Genesee  falls,  and  along  the  lake  ridge  to  the  Ni- 
agara river  at  Lewiston.  This  was  the  grand  line  of  communication  between 
the  Five  Nations,  and  the  ultimate  destination  of  every  other  trail  in  the  pres- 

1  Macauley,  vol,  II.,  p,  219. 


38  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

ent  state  of  New  York.  Along  its  silent  course  the  swiftest  runners  of  the  Irp- 
quois  bore  their  messages  of  peace  or  war  with  a  speed  and  physical  endurance 
incredible.     Morgan  says :  — 

"Whenever  the  sachems  of  a  nation  desired  to  convene  the  grand  council  of  the 
Iroquois  league,  they  sent  out  runners,  to  the  nation  nearest,  with  a  belt  of  wampum. 
This  belt  announced  that  on  a  certain  day  thereafter,  at  such  a  place,  and  for  such  and 
such  purposes  (mentioning  them),  a  council  of  the  league  would  assemble.  If  the  mes- 
sage originated  with  the  Senecas  it  reached  the  Cayugas  first,  as  the  nation  located 
nearest  upon  the  line'  of  trail.  The  Cayugas  then  notified  the  Onondagas,  they  the 
Oneidas,  and  these  the  Mohawks  ;  the  reverse  being  the  order  when  the  message  origi- 
nated in  the  east.  Each  nation  within  its  own  confines  spread  the  information  far  and 
wide;  and  thus,  in  a  space  of  time  astonishingly  brief,  intelligence  of  the  council  was 
heralded  from. one  extremity  of  their  country  to  the  other.  If  the  subject  was  calculat- 
ed to  arouse  a  deep  feeling  of  interest,  one  common  impulse  from  the  Hudson  to  the 
Niagara,  and  from  the  St.  Lawrence  to  the  Susquehanna,  drew  the  people  toward  the 
council  fire;  sachems,  chiefs  and  warriors,  women,  and  even  children,  deserted  their  hunt 
ing  grounds  and  woodland  seclusions,  and  literally  flocked  to  the  place  of  council. " ' 

Their  wandering,  hunter,  life  and  habit  of  intent  observation  rendered  the 
Iroquois  familiar  with  every  foot  of  land  in  their  territory,  enabling  them  to 
select  the  choicest  locations  for  abode.  Towns  were  frequently  moved  from 
place  to  place,  new  trails  worn  and  old  ones  abandoned  to  stray  hunters  and 
wild  animals.  Trails  leading  to  or  along  the  edge  of  water  were  usually  per- 
manent. Hardly  a  stream  but  bore  its  border  line  of  trail  upon  either  bank. 
From  the  shore  of  Lake  Ontario  to  the  headwaters  of  the  Genesee,  trails  fol- 
lowed every  curve  of  the  river  as  closely  as  natural  obstacles  would  permit,  and 
branches  led  up  the  sides  of  tributary  creeks. 

Trails  converged  on  the  Genesee  in  the  vicinity  of  Rochester  at  two  places, 
the  ridge  north  of  the  lower  falls,  and  the  rapids  some  eighty  rods  below  the 
mouth  of  Red  creek.  The  passage  of  the  river  north  of  the  lower  falls  was 
effected  in  canoes  or  on  rafts ;  in  the  absence  of  either  or  both,  the  aboriginal 
traveler  plunged  into  the  water  and  stemmed  the  strong  current  with  his 
brawny  arms.  Before  the  white  man  obstructed  its  channel  with  dams  the 
Genesee  was  one  continuous  rapid  from  Red  creek  to  the  south  line  of  the 
present  Erie  canal  aqueduct.  An  Indian  ford  existed  at  a  shallow  place  near 
the  immediate  line  of  the  present  race-dam,  between  the  jail  and  weigh-lock, 
but  was  never  in  such  general  use  as  the  upper  ford  below  Red  creek,  where 
the  river  could  be  more  easily  and  safely  crossed  by  footmen. 

The  great  trail  coming  west  from  Canandaigua  on  the  present  route  of  the 
Pittsford  road  divided  a  few  rods  east  of  Allen's  creek.  The  main  trail  turned 
to  the  north  over  a  lovv  ridge,  across  the  present  farm  of  the  venerable  Charles 
M.  Barnes'  and  down  a  gully  to  Allen's  creek.     The  ford  was  exactly  at  the 

1  League  of  the  Iroquois,  p.    1 10. 

2  No  resident  of  Monroe  county  is  more  thoroughly  interested  in  its  aboriginal  history  than  Charles 
M.    Barnes.     His  admirable  knowledge  of  colonial  and  pioneer  history,  and  remarkable  memory  of 


Local  Trails  of  the  Genesee.  39 

arch  through  which  the  waters  now  pass  under  the  great  embankment  of  the 
New  York  Central  railroad.  Following  the  west  bank  to  a  point  where  the 
creek  turned  directly  to  the  right,  the  trail  left  the  stream  and  curving  gradu- 
ally to  the  west  along  the  base  of  a  high  bluff  ran  up  a  narrow  gully  to  the 
table-land.  Taking  a  northwest  course  from  this  point  it  passed  the  brick  resi- 
dence of  D.  McCarthy,  crossed  a  trail  running  to  the  fishing  resort  on  Ironde- 
quoit  creek  and  at  the  distance  of  one  hundred  rods  again  curved  to  the  west 
along  a  short  slope,  striking  the  line  of  the  present  road  on  the  farm  of  Judge 
Edmund  Kelley.  In  the  side  of  this  slope  were  numerous  springs  near  which 
the  Indians  frequently  camped.  When  the  ground  was  first  plowed  many 
Indian  relics  were  found,  and  also  evidences  of  a  former  occupation  by  some 
large  body  of  white  men.  At  least  two  bushels  of  bullets  were  discovered  in 
one  spot,  and  numerous  other  indications  of  the  presence  of  an  army. 

From  these  springs  a  trail  ran  directly  north  half  a  mile  and  turned  east 
down  the  hillside  to  the  famous  Indian  landing  on  Irbndequoit  creek.  Along 
this  road  between  the  springs  and  landing  was  located  the  famed  Tryon's  Town, 
of  Gerundegut,  founded  by  Judge  John  Tryon  about  1798.  From  Tryon's 
Town  the  main  trail  continued  its  northwest  course  to  the  Thomas  road,  some 
rods  north  of  University  avenue.  Fro.m  that  point  the  present  (old  Thomas) 
road  leading  to  the  cobble-stone  school-house  on  Culver  street,  and  thence  to 
Norton  street,  runs  on  the  old  trail.  Leaving  Norton  street  a  short, distance  east 
of  Goodman,  the  path  crossed  a  swamp  to  Hooker's  cemetery.  The  ground 
in  front  of  Mr.  Hooker's  residence  is  said  to  have  been  the  site  of  a  very  an- 
cient fortification.  Following  the  north  edge  of  the  elevation  the  trail  crossed 
North  avenue  to  the  Culver  farm  opposite,  and  can  still  be  traced  through  the 
grove  of  forest  trees  to  the  former  location  of  a  large  Indian  settlement  on  the 
sand  knolls,'  half  a  mile  west.  From  this  town  the  course  was  due  west  down 
the  side  .of  Spring  brook  to  the  Ridge  mounds  and  Brewer's  landing  on  the 
Genesee  river. 

East  avenue  is  located  upon  the  general  route  of  the  second  trail  from 
Allen's  creek  westward.  It  divided  near  Union  street,  the  principal  path  turn- 
ing slightly  to  the  south  and  ending  at  the  ford  near  the  weighlock.  The  branch 
crossed  Main  street  near  the  liberty  pole  and  struck  the  river  trail  in  the  vicinity 
of  Franklin  and  North  St.  Paiil  streets.  Indian  huts  were  scattered  about  the 
bluff  in  that  vicinity  until  18 19. 

A  trail  came  from  Caledonia  springs  east  by  way  of  Mumford,  Scottsville, 
Chili  and  Gates  to  Red  creek  ford  in  South  Rochester.  This  was  the  general 
thoroughfare   from  the    Indian   towns  near  the   Canaseraga  creek  to  the   lower 

early  events  in  the  vicinity  of  Rochester,  have  proved  invaluable  aids  in  the  collection  of  many  facts 
herein  pre.sented. 

1  In  a  conversation  held  v/hh  David  Forest  on  this  very  ground,  in  1854,  Oliver  Culver  stated  that 
in  1 796  he  arrived  at  Irondetjuoit  landing  in  a  canoe,  and  came  over  the  trail  described  to  this  town, 
where  he  traded  with  the  Indians.  It  was  from  them  that  he  received  his  information  regarding  the 
large  skeletons  discovered  at  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  bay. 


40  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Genesee  and  Lake  Ontario.  It  was  down  this  trail  that  Butler's  rangers  fled, 
after  the  massacre  of  Boyd  and  Parker  at  Little  Beard's  Town  in  1779,  on 
their  way  to  the  mouth  of  the  river. 

'  A  path  seldom  used  during  the  later  Seneca  occupation  ran  north  from  Red 
creek  ford  in  the  general  direction  of  Genesee  street,  to  the  head  of  Deep  hol- 
low, around  which  it  curved  to  the  Lake  avenue  trail.  From  this  path  a  sec- 
ond came  north  from  the  rapids  over  the  course  of  Plymouth  avenue  to  a  spot 
called  Indian  spring  (near  the  corner  of  Spring  street  and  Spring  alley  in  rear 
of  the  First  Presbyterian  church),  and  followed  the  little  spring  creek  north- 
east to  the  vicinity  of  Central  avenue  and  Mill  street.  This  trail  branched  near 
Atkinson  street,  the  branch  running  eastward  to  the  ford  near  the  present  jail. 
From  this  ford  a  path  ran  directly  to  Indian  spring,  in  the  vicinity  of  which 
the  wigwams  of , the  natives  were  occasionally  set  up.  It  was  at  the  southern 
extremity  of  the  ridge  lying  west  of  this  spring  that  the  Senecas  made  their 
last  sacrifice  of  the  white  dog.  Lewis  H.  Morgan  is  authority  for  the  state- 
ment that  this  ceremony  was  performed  on  the  ground  now  occupied  by  W.  S. 
Kimball's  residence  on  the  south  side  of  Troup  street,  between  Eagle  street 
and  Caledonia  avenue.  A  third  trail  turned  north  from  the  jail  ford  and  con- 
nected with  the  Plymouth  avenue  trail  near  Central  avenue,  continuing  north 
to  Deep  hollow,  where  it  was  joined  by  the  Genesee  street  trail.  At  the  pres- 
ent Ridge  road  on  the  boulevard  the  trail  separated ;  the  main  path  running 
west  on  the  ridge  to  Lewiston,  and  the  other  to  the  lake  shore.  The  summit 
of  the  hill  over  which  Lake  avenue  passes,  near  the  present  residence  of  Charles 
J.  Burke,  was  once  the  site  of  a  large  Indian  town,  and  all  the  slope  and  low 
ground  east  of  that  place  to  the  river  and  north  to  Hanford's  landing,  was 
used  for  camping  purposes.  There  were  numerous  springs  along  this  hillside, 
and  the  Indians  obtained  flint  from  a  quarry  on  the  edge  of  the  bluff"'  near  the 
river  end  of  Frauenberger  avenue.  -  Numerous  little  heaps  of  flint  chips,  half- 
finished  and  broken  arrow-heads,  and  other  weapons  of  stone  were  found  in  the 
woods  of  that  locality  by  the  early  settlers.  Upon  these  grounds  the  late  Dr. 
Chester  Dewey  gathered  many  valuable  relics  of  the  stone  age  now  in  the 
Smithsonian  institution. 

The  waters  of  the  springs  mentioned  once  formed  a  short  creek,  the  chan- 
nel of  which  was  parallel  with  and  some  rods  west  of  the  edge  of  the  bluff". 
This  channel  is  yet  quite  distinct  and  so  straight  as  to  suggest  the  idea  of  arti- 
ficial origin.  It  emptied  over  the  edge  of  the  cliff"  into  the  great  dell  at  Han- 
ford's landing.  At  the  upper  end  of  this  dell  the'  waters  of  a  larger  stream, 
which  has  its  source  some  miles  westward,  still  dash  recklessly  over  the  cliff" 
and  hurry  through  the  rocky  passage  below  to  join  the  river.  Between  these 
creeks,  on  land  now  owned  by  R.  J.  Smith,  the  ground  takes  the  form  of  a  low 
ridge,  extending  some  distance  southward  from  the  cliff".     The  situation  is  grand 


"^Pioneer  Historical  Collections. 


Romantic  Legend.  41 


and  the  view  down  the  river  and  over  the  water,  some  two  hundred  feet  below, 
very  pleasing.  A  great  fortification  once  stood  on  this  ridge,  but  when  or  by 
whom  constructed  history  tells  not.  Over  a  century  ago  it  was  a  mere  heap 
of  ruins.  Squier  says  it  consisted  of  a  semi-circular  embankment,  the  ends  of 
which  reached  the  very  edge  of  the  immense  ravine,  and  had  three  narrow 
gate-ways  placed  at  irregular  intervals.'  Every  part  of  the  embankment  was 
obliterated  long  years  ago,  but  its  lines  have  been  inferred  by  the  quantities  of 
relics  found  within  certain  sharply  defined  limits.  It  is  a  singular  fact  that  no 
cemetery  has  been  discovered  in  the  vicinity  of  this  place,  the  nearest  burial- 
ground  of  the  aborigines  west  of  the  Genesee,  known  to  the  writer,  being 
some  two   miles  distant. 

There  is  a  legend  connected  with  some  cliff  near  the  lower  falls  of  the  Gen- 
esee river,  and  this  may,  possibly,  be  the  spot.  Stripped  of  the  fanciful  language 
in  which  the  mythical  narratives  of  the  red  man  are  usually  clothed,  it  is  a  simple 
pathetic  tale.  'Tis  said  that  a  pale-faced  wanderer  paddled  up  the  river  one 
summer's  day,  long  years  ago.  He  came  alone  directly  to  an  Indian  camp  on 
the  river  side,  and  remained  with  the  tribe.  In  time  his  native  country  and 
his  people  were  forgotten  in  the  happiness  of  loving,  and  being  loved  by,  a 
beautiful  forest  maiden.  They  were  married  in  the  Indian  fashion,  and  the 
days  passed  away  like  moments  in  their  lodge  "near  the  singing  cataract." 
One  day  a  strange  canoe,  filled  with  white  men,  came  up  the, Genesee  in  search 
of  the  pale-faced  wanderer,  who  proved  to  be  an  exiled  chieftain  (nobleman) 
of  France.  His  friends  came  to  carry  him  back  to  honor  and  fortune,  but  his 
heart  was  in  the  wildwoods  and  he  refused  to  go.  Then  they  sought  to  com- 
pel him,  but,  clasping  his  Indian  wife  in  his  arms,  the  exile  rushed  to  the  brink 
of  a  great  cliff  where  the  rock  rose  straight  up  above  the  water,  and,  spring- 
ing far  out  over  the  precipice,  the  two  were  crushed  and  mangled  on  the  rocks 
below.  Tradition  has  failed  to  preserve  the  names  of  the  white  brave  and  his 
dusky  bride,  or  identify  the  place  of  their'  death.  The  brief  description  of 
locality  answers  equally  well  to  the  bluff  opposite  the  Glen  House,  or  this  dell 
at  Hanford's  landing.    • 

From  the  top  of  the  cliff  within  the  limits  of  the  old  fort  a  stone  can  be 
cast  to  the  water's  edge  at  Hanford's  landing  below.  From  the  landing  a 
path  ran  along  the  water  at  the  base  of  the  bluff,  up  the  river  to  the  lower  falls. 
At  the  spot  now  called  Buell's  landing,  directly  opposite  Brewer's  landing,  a 
path  led  up  the  face  of  the  jutting  rocks,  reaching  the  table  land  in  the  yicinity 
of  the  flint  quarry,  and  natives  crossing  the  river  often  climbed  this  steep  path 
in  preference  to  the  longer  route  by  the  lower  landing.  The  first  white  settlers 
in  this  vicinity  (Gideon  King  and  others)  widened  a  path  leading  up  the  great 
sloping  bank  from  the  old  Indian  landing  north,  to  a  wagon  road.  In  1798 
Eli  Granger  laid  the  keel  of  the  Jemima,  a  schooner  of  forty  tons  and  the  first 


'  Aboriginal  Monuments  of  New   York,  p.  58. 


42  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

American  vessel  built  on  the  Genesee  (some  say  the  first  built  near  Lake  On- 
tario), at  the  foot  of  this  road  ;  the  landing,  then  callied  King's,  now  Hanford's, 
became  the  lake  port,  and  there  the  steamer  Ontario  first  touched  the  river 
bank  when  she  commenced  her  trips  in  1817.  From  the  landing  a  second  path 
curved  up  the  little  promontory  on  the  north  side  of  the  dell,  and  extended 
around  the  edge  of  the  cliff  to  the  old  fort.  From  that  place  it  ran  up  the 
creek  to  the-  main  or' Ridge  trail,  which  it  crossed  some  distance  west  of  the 
present  boulevard.  Continuing,  along  the  north  bank  of  the  creek  to  the  farm 
of  Samuel  Truesdale,  where  the  giant  skeleton  was  exhumed  in  1878,  it  turned 
west  along  the  mountain  ridge,  running  straight  to  a  spring  on  the  present  farm, 
of  George  H.  Lee.  Indians  came  upon  this  creek  and  camped  in  Mr.  Trues- 
dale's  chestnut  grove  until  1853. 

At  the  rapids  in  South  Rochester  the  river  passes  over  a  ledge  of  lime- 
stone, and  before  the  dam  was  constructed  the  channel  was  very  shallow  some 
sixty  rods  above  and  belciw.  Ort  the  east  bank  a  flat  extended  from  Red  creek 
north  around  the  base  of  Oak  hill.  It  was  eaten  away  by  the  current  long 
years  ago,  but.it  originally  constituted  the  the  east-side  Janding  of  the  ford. 
The  west  end  of  Elmwood  avenue  strikes  the  river  just  south  of  the  upper  edge 
of  the  old  ford.  In  early  pioneer  days  there  were  two  or  three  good  springs 
in  the  bank  of  a  small  creek  which  entered  the  river  at  that  point.  A  pre- 
historic town,  covering  all  the  surface  of  Oak  hill,  once  existed  tHere.  Stohe 
relics  were  found  on  every  foot  of  the  ground  from  the  feeder  dam  to  Red  creek, 
by  the'  early  settlers.  In  their  anxiety  to  distance  Sullivan's  soldiers,  Butler's 
men  rid  themselves  of  everything  possible  at  this  ford.  Ammunition  and  arms 
were' buried  in  the.  ground  near  the  springs  and  concealed  in  hollow  trees  in 
the  vicinity.  In  1816  Mr.  Boughton  found  ninety-six  pounds  of  bullets  in 
the  bottom  of  a  rotten  stump,  and  several  other  discoveries  of  bullets,  bars  of 
lead,  etc.,  have  been  made  by  various  parties. 

From  the  springs  at  the  ford  the  trail  ran  northeast  to  the  corner  of  Indian 
Trail  and  First  avenues  in  Mount  Hope  cemetery.  At  that  point  it  divided, 
one  branch  turning  sharply  to  the  left,  directly  up  the  slope  and  north  over 
the  top  of  section  G  to  the  present  Indian  Trail  avenue,  which  it  entered  and 
thence  followed  the  ridge  sttaight  to  a  spot  in  front  of  George  Ellwanger's  res- 
idence, continuing  down  Mount  Hope  avenue.  South  and  North  St.  Paul  streets 
to  Brewer's  landing.  From  the  latter  place  it  ran  near  the  edge  of  the  high 
bank  to  Lake  Ontario.  On  the  farm  of  Daniel  Leake  traces  of  an  Indian  town 
and  burial  ground  have  been  discovered  and  the  old  path  can  yet  be  followed 
in  places  through  the  woods  north  of  the  "rifle  range."  An  ancient  fortifica- 
tion stood  near  the  ford  of  a  brook  which  rises  in  the  littlevale  southeast  of 
Rattlesnake  point.  It  was  the  ruins  of  this  fort  for  which  Mr.  Squier  searched 
in  vain  about  1848.  The  Seneca  ferrying-place  across  the  river  was  at  the 
terminus  of  the  trail  at  about  the  same  location  as  the  present  upper  ferry  at 


Portage  Trail.  43 


Charlotte.  In  the  brush  and  woods  on  the  east  bank  at  this  point  Butler's 
rangers  sought  refuge  while  waiting  for  the  tory  Walker  to  return  from  Fort 
Niagara  with  boats  for  their  removal.  The  log  house  afterv^ard  occupied  by 
Walker  stood,  a  few  feet  southeast  of  the  angle  in  the  present  road  where  it 
turns  west  across  the  swamp  at  the  ferry.  Stone  pestles,  arrow-heads,  bullets, 
etc.,  have  been  found  in  the  vicinity  in  considerable  numbers  by  Jerome  Man- 
ning and  other  old  settlers. 

From  the  corner  of  Indian -Trail  and  First  avenues  in  Mount  Hope  ceme- 
tery the  south  branch  of  the  trail,  coming  from  Red  creek  ford,  passed  a  few 
rods  east  to  a  beautiful  spring  in  the  side  of  the  present  artificial  pond.  Curv- 
ing slightly  northward  it  divided,  one  path  following  the  general  course  of  Stan- 
ley street  and  Highland  avenue  along  the  southern  base  of  the  hills  to  the  cor- 
ners north  of  Cobb's  brick-yard  on  Monroe  avenue;  the  other  branch  running 
directly  to  the  summit  of  the  hills  near  the  water-works  reservoir,  and  east 
over  the  top  of  Pinnacle  hill,  joining  the  first  path  near  the  corners.  From 
that  place  the  course  was  directly  east  to  the  riffle  on  Irondequoit  creek  some 
distance  above  the  dug- way  mills.  This  riffle  was  a  noted  resort  of  the  In- 
dians who  went  there  from  the  upper  Genesee  to  fish.  It  was  known  to  the 
Senecas  as  Sgoh-sa-is-thah.  The  meaning  of  the  word  is  "the  swell  dashes 
against  the  precipice,"  referring  to  the  fact  that  a  heavy  swell  sometimes  beats 
against  the  ledge  over  which  the  fall  pours.  Springs  still  exist  in, the  bank 
near  the  riffle  where  the  Indians  camped.  From  this  fishing  ground  alarge 
open  path  ran  directly  south  over  the  hills  to  the  Pittsford  roa,d,  and  thence  to' 
Honeoye.  At  its  crossing  of  the  New  York  Central  railroad  at  the  "sand-cut" 
east  of  the  Allen's  creek  embankment,  an  Indian  burial  ground  was  located. 
During  the  excavation  of  a  part  of  this  hill,  about  1876,  human  remains  were 
exhumed,  among  which  were  several  skeletons  of  unusual  size,  One  exceeding 
seven  feet  in  length.  Numberless  relics  of  stone,  rusty  knives  and  fragments 
of  firearms  were  picked  up  by  the  workmen,  Dennis  Callahan  securing  a  small 
flat-iron  bearing  the  figure  of  a  spread  eagle.  East  of  this  trail,  between  the 
cemetery  and  the  Pittsford  road,  quantities  of  stone  relics  have  been  found,  in- 
dicating the  site  of  a  pre-historic  town.  West  of  this  site  is  located  the  great 
cairn  of  limestones,  supposed  to  have  been  heaped  up  by  people  preceding  the 
Indians. 

There  were  two  Indian  roads  known  as  the  portage  trails.  The  first  has 
been  described  as  the  Mount  Hope  avenue  and  St.  Paul  street  route,  over 
which  canoes  and  baggage  were  transported  between  Red  creek  and  Brewer's 
landing.  This  route  was  followed  by  the  Indians  long  after  Rochester  was  set- 
tled by  the  whites,  and  Phederus  Carter,  James  Stone  ^nd  other  pioneer  boys 
often  assisted  their  Indian  friends  to  carry  canoes  over  this  path. 

The  grand  portage  trail  diverged  from  the  Mount  Hope  avenue  path  near 
Clarissa  street,  ran  along  the  ridge  south  of  and  parallel  with  Gregory  street  to 

'    4 


44  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

South  avenue,  thence  straight  to  Oliver  Culver's  old  homestead,  corner  of  Cul- 
ver street  and  East  avenue.  Passing  a  few  rods  eaist  of  the  house  the  trail- 
route  was  down  the  north  road  east  to  the  landing  on  Iroridequoit  creek.  '  This 
was  the  general  highway  between  the  upper  Genesee  and  Irondequoit  bay,  to 
which  reference  has  been  made  in  chapter  V.  Some  3'ears  ago  an  aged  Seneca 
was  asked  to  describe  the  route  of  this  trail  between  the  Genesee  river  and 
Irondequoit  landing.  Raising  his  hand  anS  cleaving  the  air  with  a  direct  for- 
ward blow  the  Indian  replied:  "Straight  as  the  arrow  flies,  runs  the  carrying- 
path."  A  verification  of  this  assertion  may  be/ound  on  any  map  of  Monroe 
county  showing  the  following  points  :  Mount  Hope  avenue  and  Clarissa  street, 
South  avenue  and  Grand  street.  East  avenue  and  the  Culver  road  and  the  land- 
ing on  Irondequoit  creek.  A  line  extending  from  the  first  to  the  last  would 
pass  in  as  nearly  a  direct  course  through  the  intermediate  points  as  the  original 
form  of  the  ground  would  admit.  From  South  avenue  to  East  avenue  the 
trail  ran  over  a  section  of  low  ground  which  extended  southward  to  the  base 
of  the  Pinnacle  range  of  hills,  and  was  known  as  the  "bear  swamp." 

A  huge  dome-shaped  hill  fills  the  Irondequoit  valley  directly  opposite  the 
old  Indian  landing-place  so  often  mentioned.  The  creek  hugs  the  west  bank 
at  the  landing  and  sweeps  around  to  the  southeast  in  a  great  semi-circle  called 
"the  ox-bow,"  leaving  a  crescent-shaped  flat  at  the  southern  base  of  this  island 
hill.  When  the  surrounding  slopes  were  covered  with  forest  trees  this  flat 
formed  a  pleasant  and  secluded  retreat,  which  could  only  be  reached  over  the 
landing  trail  or  by  crossing  the  creek,  which  is  very  deep  in  that  vicinity. 
After  leaving  Red  creek  ford  Butler's  rangers  separated  on  Mount  Hope,  one 
party  proceeding  down  the  Mount  Hope  avenue  trail  to  the  mouth  of  the  Gen- 
esee, the  other  going  east  to  Irondequoit  landing  and  the  0X7 bow  flat,  which 
appears  to  have  been  a  well  known  and  favorite  resort  of  the  tories.  From 
this  hiding-place  they  made  their  way  over  the  town  of  Irondequoit  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Genesee  river,  where  they  remained  in  the  brush  and  the  woods 
several  days,  not  daring  to  build  a  fire  or  make  the  least  noise,  lest  Sullivan's 
avenging  forces  should  discover  and  annihilate  them.  Walker  had  been  sent 
from  Caledonia  springs  to  Niagara  for  boats,  and  when  he  finally  arrived  in  the 
Genesee  the  rangers  were  nearly  famished.  After  one  ravenous  meal  they 
embarked  for  Niagara  and  Oswego,  and  the  lower  Genesee  was  rid  of  all  the 
murderous  gang  save  Walker,  who,  remaining  as  a  British  spy,  built  a  cabin 
near  the  ferrying- place. 

The  west  side  of  the  island  hill,  facing  Irondequoit  landing,  has  yielded  to 
nature's  erosive  forces,  and  a  charming  inclined  valley  extends  from  the  landing 
to  the  very  eastern  limit  of  the  hilltop,  which  was  once  connected  with  the 
high  land  east  by  a  narrow  ridge.  From  the  landing  the  old  trail  course  was 
up  this  valley  to  the  elevated  table  land  opposite.  Running  some  distance  east 
to  avoid  the  tremendous  gulfs  reaching  back  from  the  bay,  it  turned  north, 


The  Trail  to  the  Salt  Spring.         '  45 

ending  on  the  sand-bar  at  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  bay.  From  the  landing 
to  Lake  Ontario  every  rod  of  ground  is  historical.  When  the  farms  of  Henry 
Smith  and  Edson  Welcher,  just  north  of  the  float-bridge  road,  were  settled, 
an  Indian  cemetery  was  discovered.  There  were  two  hundred  grave-mounds 
arranged  in  rows,  over  which  grew  oak  trees  fully  eighteen  inches  in  diameter. 
In  the  woods  near  at  hand  great  corn-hills  were  plainly  to  be  seen,  and  the 
Indians  had  a  landing-place  on  Plum  Orchard  point,  immediately  below. 

A  second  trail  turned  east  to  the  ridge,  along  which  it  continued  to  Sodus 
and  Oswego.  It  was  known  to  the  Senecas  as  Ne-aga  Wa-a-gwen,  or  Ontario 
foot-path.  The  village  last  occupied  by  Seneca  Indians  in  Webster  was  located 
on  the  ridge  near  this  path,  about  one  mile  east  of  the  bay,  and  the  latter-day 
Mississauges  camped  on  the  same  ground.  Their  landing  was  on  the  bay,  at 
the  foot  of  the  ridge.  In  a  hollow  north  of  the  landing  H.  M.  Hames  discov- 
ered twelve  skeletons  lying  in  a  circle,  like  the  spokes  of  a  wheel,  with  their 
feet  to  the  center,  where  were  deposited  a  number  of  rude  stone  weapons, 
probably  arms  of  the  buried  warriors.  One  of  these  relics,  an  immense  spear- 
head of  flint,  is  in  possession  of  the  writer.  It  is  an  interesting  fact  that  while 
iron  weapons,  beads  and  other  evidences  of  association  with  the  whites  are 
occasionally  found  in  graves  of  the  natives  on  the  high  land  about  Rochester, 
'  burial-places  in  hollows  or  ravines  usually  contain  relics  of  the  stone  age  only. 
A  mound  which  was  very  prominently  located  on  the  bluff"  north  of  Dunbar 
hollow  was  opened  by  the  early  residents,  who  obtained  a  great  number  of 
stone  weapons,  mostly  tomahawks  and  skull- crackers. 

A  large  fort  once  occupied  the  ground  just  north  of  the  ridge  at  the  inter- 
section of  the  sand-bar  trail.  This  work  is  mentioned  by  Macauley,  but  Squier 
failed  to  locate  it  in  1848. '  DeNonville  does  not  appear  to  have  observed  it 
in  1687,  and  it  was  undoubtedly  very  ancient.  Stone  arrow-heads  di.scovered 
there  are  quite  large  and  broad.  Arrow-heads  of  the  same  description  are 
found  in  a  dcU  on  the  Victor  tra,il.  From  the  old  fort  a  trail  ran  northeast  to 
a  salt-spring  located  about  one  and  a  half  miles  east  of  the  bay.  The  Indians 
came  from  Gardeau,  Mount  Morris,  Moscow,  Geneseo,  Lima,  Avon  and  Canna- 
waugus  to  make  salt  at  this  spring,  camping  in  the  woods  between  it  and  Iron- 
dequoit bay.  The  tory  Walker  and  an  old  Seneca  chief  from  Moscow  were  the 
last  to  use  it,  and  in  1788-9  they  covered  the  spring  over.  They  disclosed  its 
location  in  confidence  to  three  or  four  white  friends,  Asa  Dunbar  being  of  the 
number.  He  revealed  it  to  Wm.  H.  Fenfield,  and  the  latter  to  Jarvis  M.  Hatch, 
from  whom  the  present  writer  obtained  the  following  quaint  directions  to  effect 
its  re-discovery  :  "  In  a  large  gorge  half  a  mile  from  the  lake  shore  take  a  run- 
way to  a  point  one-fourth  of  a  mile  southwest  of  the  gorge.  The  spring  is 
near  some  trees  in  a  cultivated  field,  entirely  covered  over  and  effectually  con- 
cealed.    I  have  been  to  it  in  i860."     There  was  another  spring  in  Dunbar  hol- 

^.  Aboriginal  MtmHtnents,  p.  58. 


46  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

low,  which  is  so  called  from  the  fact  that  Asa  Dunbar,  an  early  settler  of  gigan- 
tic strength,  frequented  the  place  to  manufacture  salt.  The  process  was  very- 
simple,  the  brine  being  boiled  in  a  "three-pail  kettle." 

Two  mounds  once  occupied  the  hilltop  south  of  the  Sea  Breeze  hotel  on 
the  west  side  of  Irondequoit  bay.  Their  former  location  was  pointed  out  to 
the  writer  in  1880  by  Charles  M.  Barnes  and  Amos  Knapp.  The  mounds 
were  from  twenty  to  thirty-five  feet  east  of  north  of  the  present  wooden  "  ob- 
servatory." Squier  says  they  were  small,  the  largest  not  exceeding  five  feet 
in  height.  Upon  excavation  he  found  they  had  been  previously  disturbed, 
and  his  examination  resulted  in  the  discovery  of  a  few  fragments  of  bone,  char- 
coal, pottery  and  arrow-heads.'  Old  settlers  inform  me  that  Wm.  H.  Penfield 
opened  these  mounds  about  1817.  He  obtained  many  curious  things,  in- 
cluding sword  scabbard-bands  of  silver,  belt  buckles,  belt  and  hat  ornaments 
and  other  articles  of  military  dress.  Directly  east  of  these  mounds  is  a  deep 
gully,  now  crossed  by  two  rustic  bridges.  The  Indian  canoe  landing  was  at 
the  mouth  of  this  gully,  where  a  fine  spring  furnished  good  water.  A  trail 
came  up  the  hill  from  the  sand-bar  west  of  the  mounds  along  the  edge  of  the 
gully  to  its  beginning.'  A  few  rods  east  of  this  point  was  a  burial-place  where 
Indian  remains  are  still  found.  The  gully  or  landing  trail  united  with  the  other, 
ran  southwest  to  the  ridge  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Forest  House,  and  due  south 
to  the  west  end  of  the  float-bridge  road,  where  it  joined  the  trail  already 
described,  leading  to  the  camping-ground  on  Judge  Kelley's  farm  and  onward 
through  the  Allen's  creek  "defile"  to  the  Pittsford  road.  This  was  the  main 
trail,  west  of  the  bay,  from  Lake  Ontario  to  Irondequoit  landing,  Victor  and 
Honeoye  creek,  and  DeNonville  marched  down  this  path  from  Allen's  creek 
on  his  return  to  the  lake. 

The  small  island  on  the  west  side  of  Irondequoit  bay,  upon  which  the 
Schneider  House  stands,  is  of  artificial  origin.  It  was  originally  of  ellipsoidal 
form,  ninety  feet  long,  thirty-two  wide  and  seventeen  high.  In  his  prepara- 
tions to  build,  Mr.  Schneider  lowered  the  whole  island  to  within  two  feet  of 
the  surface  of  the  water,  first  removing  a  dead  oak  tree  about  fifteen  inches 
through,  which  stood  on  the  very  top  of  the  elevation.  The  mound  was  com- 
posed of  alternate  layers  of  sand  and  clay  so  distinctly  marked  as  to  attract 
attention.  In  the  bottom  of  the  exact  center,  fifteen  feet  below  the  surface, 
Mr.  Schneider  unearthed  about  one  bushel  of  hand-worked  stones  consisting 
of  arrow  and  spearheads,  knives,  tomahawks  of  various  shapes,  skull -crackers, 
war-club  heads,  fish-net  weights,  skin-dressers,  finishers,  etc.  Some  of  these 
articles  were  beautiful  specimens  of  polished- stone  work  and  nearly  all  above 
the  average  size  usually  found  in  this  vicinity.  The  construction  of  this  mound 
cost  a  vast  amount  of  labor,  and  the  object  is  conjectural.  It  marked  the  en- 
trance to  a  small  bay  which  undoubtedly  constituted  a  fine  harbor  extending 

1  Aboriginal  Monuments,    p.  57. 


Early  French  Missions.  47 

back  into  a  great  valley.  It  is  a  secluded  locality,  immense  forest  trees  still 
standing  about  the  shore,  but  was  once  frequented  by  the  native  inhabitants. 
A  brawling  stream  curves  through  the  valley  bottom  and  enters  the  little  bay, 
which  has  become  nearly  impassable  by  the  growth  of  rushes.  A  trail  ex- 
tended the  whole  length  of  the  valley  and  the  old  path  is  yet  quite  distinct  in 
places.  It  followed  the  original  upward  course  of  the  stream  to  the  north  end 
of  Culver  street.  A  trail  left  the  creek  at  the  head  of  the  valley  and  ran  south 
across  the  float-bridge  road  some  two  miles  to  the  Irondequoit  creek  landing 
and  Genesee  falls  trail,  which  it  crossed  near  the  old  Thomas  road,  and  contin- 
ued up  the  bank  of  a  creek  to  the  portage  trail  at  Oliver  Culver's  old  home- 
stead on  East  avenue.  Numberless  side  paths  connected  these  principal  trails 
at  intervals,  and  threaded  the  forest  in  every  direction  to  springs,  deer-licks, 
and  other  places  of  interest  to  the  native  inhabitants.  Other  trails  will  be 
mentioned  in  their  proper  connections,  but  many  interesting  facts  are  omitted, 
enough  having  already  been  presented  to  prove  that  a  numerous  population 
occupied  the  territory  of  the  lower  Genesee  long  before  the  white  man  came 
upon  its  soil. 


CHAPTER  VII. 

Karly  French    Missions  —  Tsonnontouan  —  The    Jesuit's  Escape  —  La  Salle   at    Irondequoit  — 
Struggle  between  the  French  and  English  for  Possession  of  the  Lower  Genesee  Country. 

THOUGH  the  Franciscan  Le  Caron  is  supposed  to  have  passed  through  the 
Iroquois  (Mohawk)  country  about  i6i6,  coureurs  des  bois  are  known  to 
have  traded  with  tribes  on  the  south  shore  of  Ontario  before  De.  la  Roche 
Dallion  passed  the  winter  of  1626-7  with  the  Neuters,  the  whites  possessed  no 
definite  knowledge  of -Western  New  York  or  the  water  connections  of  Lake 
Ontario  with  the  west,  until  1640,  when  Brebeuf's  mission  to  the  Neuters  per- 
fected their  knowledge  of  the  Niagara  river  and  Lake  Erie.  "Could  we  but 
gain  the  mastery  of  the  shore  of  Ontario  on  the  side  nearest  the  abode  of  the 
Iroquois,"  the  Jesuits  said,  "we  could  ascend  by  the  St.  Lawrence  without  dan- 
ger, and  pass  free  beyond  Niagara,  with  a  great  saving  of  time  and  pains." 

To  accomplish  this  end  the  French  bent  all  their  energies.  In  the' canoes 
of  the  traders,  ofttimes  preceding  them,  went  the  brave  priests  to  plant  the 
standard  of  the  Roman  church  and  extend  the  dominion  of  France,  in  the  wilds 
of  Western  New  York.  With  varying  success  they  advanced  from  Onondaga 
westward  until,  in  1657,  Chaumorit  preached  the  faith  in  the  towns  of  the  Sen- 
ecas,  but  in  two  short  years  war  between  the  French  and  Iroquois  again  drove 


48  History  of  the  City  ov  Rochester. 

the  missionaries  to  the  northern  shore  of  Ontario.  In  1661  Le  Moyne  returned 
to  Onondaga,  and  several  missions  were  re-established.  In  the  fall  of  1668  a 
deputation  of  Seneca  chiefs  visited  Montreal  and  requested  the  Jesuits  to  estab- 
lish missions  in  their  country,  that  the  people  might  share  all  the  advantages  of 
religion  enjoyed  by  Iroquois  nations  to  the  east.  In  compliance  with  this 
request  Father  Fremin  was  sent  to  Tsonnontouan,  as  the  Genesee  country  was 
then  called  by  the  French.  The  good  priest  arrived  at  his  post  of  duty  No- 
vember 1st,  and,  taking  up  his  abode  at  the  same  town  wherein  Chaumdnt  had 
preached,  founded  the  mission  of  St.  James.  At  that  date  the  Senecas  had 
four  large  villages  east  of  the  Genesee  river.  Tlwough  the  researches  of  O.  H. 
Marshall  the  location  of  these  towns  has  been  definitely  fixed.  The  principal 
village,  at  which  Fremin  resided,  was  situated  on  what  is  now  termed  Bough- 
ton  hill,  near  Victor.  The  exact  site  is  south  of  the  railroad,  on  a  farm  owned 
by  R.  B.  Moore.  Wentworth  Greenhalp,  who  visited  the  town  in  1677,  de- 
scribes its  location  and  appearance  under  the  name  of  Canagorah.  Ten  years 
later  DeNonville,  who  destroyed  the  place,  mentions  it  in  his  official  report  by 
its  Mohawk  designation  of  Ganangorah.  In  this  effort  to  re-discover  the  site  of 
this  town  Marshall  learned  its  correct  Seneca  name  —  Ga-o-sa-eh-ga-aah. ' 

Father  Gamier,  who  had  been  stationed  at  Onondaga,  joined  Fremin  in  his 
labors  and  established  the  mission  of  St.  Michael  at  Gan-don-ga-rae,  a  small 
village  located  on  Mud  creek,  between  three  and  four  miles  southeast  of  Victor, 
where  he  remained  several  years.  Bruyas,  Pierron  and  other  priests  visited 
these  towns  during  the  life  of  the  missions,  and  the  general  route  to  and  from 
the  Seneca  villages  appears  to  have  been  through  Irondequoit  bay.  In  1683 
Garnier  was  secretly  informed  of  ttie  intention  of  the  French  to  make  war 
upon  the  Iroquois,  and,  hastening  to  Irondequoit  landing,  he  was  concealed  and 
escaped  in  a  little  barque  belonging  to  the  French  government,  which  lay  at 
anchor  there,  trading  with  the  natives. 

August  lOth,  1669,  La  Salle,  the  afterward  noted  French  explorer,  arrived 
at  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  with  seven  canoes  and  twenty-four  men,  including 
Dollier  de  Casson  and  Galinee,  two  priests  of  the  seminary  of  St.  Sulpice, 
Montreal.  They  were  accompanied  by  two  other  canoes  bearing  a  party  of 
Senecas,  who  had  wintered  on  the  St.  Lawrence  and  were  now  acting  as  guides. 
La  Salle's  object  in  this  visit  was  to  obtain  a  guide  to  the  Ohio  river,  that  of 
the  priests  the  conversion  of  the  natives.  The  party  landed  on  the  sand- 
bar  and  were   escorted   to    "Sonnontouan"    or    Gannagora    by   crowds   of 

1  The  etymology  of  this  name  was  explained  to  Mr.  Marshall  in  1847  by  Blacksmith,  the  principal 
chief  of  the  Senecas.  He  said  the  whole  village  was  supplied  by  one  spring,  which  issued  from  the 
side  of  a  hill.  To  procure  water  more  conveniently  the  Indians  made  troughs  or  conductors  of  bass- 
wood  bark,  which,  when  stripped  from  the  tree,  curls  readily  into  the  proper  shape,  and  with  these 
they  conducted  the  water  to  a  point  where  it  could  be  caught  in  their  vessels.  The  fact  that  this  was 
the  only  spring  in  the  vicinity  gave  prominence  to  the  use  of  the  basswood  bark,  and  hence,  according 
to  the  Indian  Custom,  arose  the  name  Ga-o-sa-eh-ga-aah,  or  "the  basswood  bark  lies  there."  —  O. 
H.  Marshall,  in  DeNonvilWs  Expedition,  p.  159. 


La  Salle  at  Irondequoit.  49 

savages.  They  remained  with  the  Senecas  one  month,  and  failing  to  accom- 
plish their  purpose  departed  westward  along  the  shore  of  Lake  Ontario.  Dur- 
ing the  following  two  years  La  Salle  was  upon  the  soil  of  Western  New  York 
many  times,  and  undoubtedly  explored  every  foot  of  the  Genesee  river  from 
its  mouth  to  Portage,  in  his  efforts  to  discover  the  route  to  the  Ohio  and  Mis- 
sissippi.    That  he  visited  Irondequoit  bay  on  several  occasions  is  well  known. 

With  their  first  faint  knowledge  of  the  interior  of  New  York  and  the  great 
lake  region,  the  whites  keenly  appreciated  the  sagacity  of  the  red  men  in  their 
selection  of  Irondequoit  bay  as  the  general  landing-place  of  the  Senecas  and 
harbor  of  the  league,  and  recognised  the  important  bearing  its  possession  would 
have  upon  the  steadily  increasing  interests  of  trade  and  future  civilisation. 
With  the  French  on  the  north,  and  the  English  and  Dutch  on  the  south  and 
east,  to  all  of  whom  the  great  lakes  and  streams  presented  the  only  practicable 
channels  of  communication  with  the  west,  the  Iroquois  country  became  the 
center  of  conflicting  interests,  and,  simultaneously  with  the  supremacy  of  the 
linglish  in  Eastern  New  York,  came  the  struggle  between  that  nation  and  the 
French  for  possession  of  the  great  lake  region  and  control  of  the  Indian  trade. 
Niagara  was  the  key  to  the  western  lakes,  and  Oswego  and  Irondequoit  the 
ports  through  which  all  the  costly  loads  of  Indian  goods  and  rich  cargoes  of 
furs  must  naturally  pass  to  the  west  and  east ;  for,  though  the  French  held . 
possession  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  had  free  access  to  Ontario,  the  journey 
thither  was  long  and  perilous,  and  Indian  goods  could  be  purchased  in  Albany 
and  transported  to  Montreal  at  a  less  rate  than  they  could  be  imported  direct 
to  that  place  from  France,'  while  the  trails  of  the  Iroquois,  which  could  be 
traveled  from  Albany  to  Irondequoit  on  horseback,  and  the  watercourses,  of 
the  interior  of  New  York  presented  shorter,  safer  and  more  profitable  routes 
for  unrestricted  traffic  ;  hence  the  desire  of  the  English  to  open  the  way  to  the 
west,  and  the  endeavors  of  the  French  to  obtain  possession  of  Oswego,  Iron- 
dequoit and  Niagara,  close  them  to  the  Engli.sh  and  secure  the  Indian  trade  to  , 
the  French  colony  of  the  St.  Lawrence.  Added  to  this  was  the  natural  en- 
mity existing  between  the  two  nations  and  the  jealous  rivalry  and  inordinate 
greed  for  territorial  possessions  in  the  New  world.  Each  nation  claimed  the 
Iroquois  country,  France  by  right  of  first  discovery  and  occupation,  England 
by  virtue  of  conquest  from  the  Dutch  and  treaty  stipulations,  and  both  enacted 
the  monarchical  role  of  paternal  proprietorship,  endeavoring  to  awe  and  con- 
trol the  various  tribes  by  alternate  threatenings  and  persuasion. 

From  the  attack  of  Champlain  on  the  Mohawks  at  Ticonderoga  point  in 
1609,  the  Iroquois  as  a  nation  had  maintained  a  relentless  enmity  toward  the 
French,  though  a  shadow  of  peace  had  occasionally  been  made  and  some  hun- 
dreds of  Indians  enticed  to  Canada  through  the  religious  influence  of  French 
priests;   on  the  other  hand  the  Iroquois  had  steadily  inclined  to  the  English, 

I  TV.  y.   Col.  Mss.,  V.  728-230. 


so  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

who  were  their  acknowledged  friends  and  allies.  Despairing  of  ultimate  suc- 
cess by  other  means  than  force,  the  governors  of  Canada  invaded  the  country  of 
the  Five  Nations  on  several  occasions  with  armies  of  colonists  and  Indian  allies, 
but  neither  honors  nor  lasting  benefits  accrued  to  the  French  from  these  expe- 
ditions. In  1685  De  la  Barre  was  recalled  to  France  and  the  marquis  De- 
Nonville  succeeded  him  as  governor- general  of  Canada.  Despite  the  influence 
of  French  missionaries  in  their  midst,  the  Iroquois  still  barred  the  way  to  a 
free  navigation  of  water  highways  leading  to  the  west,  insolently  repudiated 
the  authority  of  the  French  government,  and  openly  avowed  their  friendship 
for  the  English,  who  were  permitted  to  set  up  the  British  arms  in  several  Iro- 
quois villages. 


CHAPTER  VIII.' 

DeNonville's  Expedition  -  Treachery  of  the  French  Governor-General  —  Magnanimity  of  the 
Troquoi.s  —  French  Army  at  Irondequoit  —  Execution  of  Marion  —  The  Fort  on  the  Sand- Bar  —  The 
March  on  Gannagaro  —  The  Defiles,  Ambuscade  and  Battle  —  Horrors  of  Indian  Warfare  —  Canni- 
balism —  Destruction  of  the  Seneca  Towns. 

UPON  assuming  the  reins  of  colonial  government,  DeNonville  determined 
"  to  break  the  power  of  the  Iroquois  and  subdue  their  pride  by  an  invasion 
of  the  Seneca  settlements.  To  conceal  his  intentions  the  wily  governor  made 
overtures  to  the  savages  through  the  Jesuits  stationed  in  their  villages,  and  the 
summer  of  1686  was  spent  in  negotiations  which  terminated  by  the  adoption 
of  a  resolution  that  both  parties  —  French  and  Iroquois  —  should  meet  at  Cata- 
racouy, '^  to  take  measures  for  the  conclusion  of  a  general  peace.  Neither  party 
placed  confidence  in  the  proposed  peaceful  measures,  and  the  French  had  no 
intention  of  obtaining  peace  through  treaty.  During  the  entire  summer  De- 
Nonville was  very  anxious  to  lay  up  a  store  of  provisions  and  munitions  at 
Cataracouy  in  preparation  for  the  next  season's  campaign,  but  was  restrained 
from  so  doing  through  fear  of  alarming  the  Iroquois.  Active  preparations  were 
instituted  during  the  winter  and  spring  of  1686-7.  Fort  Cataracouy  —  then 
a  small  redoubt  —  was  placed  in  defensible  condition,  stocked  with  the  neces- 
sary supplies,  and  the  three  small  vessels  on  Lake  Ontario  secured  for  service. 
June  1 2th,  1687,  the  French  governor  left  Montreal  for  Cataracouy  with 
an  army  consisting  of  eight  hundred  and  thirtyrtwo  regular  troops ;  nine  hun- 

1  The  material  for  this  chapter  is  collated  from  the  Colonial  and  Documentary  Histories  of  New 
York ;  the  Expedition  of  the  Marquis  DeNonville  against  the  Senecas,  in  1687,  by  O.  H.  Marshall ; 
Discmery  of  the  Great  West,  by  Francis  Parkman  ;  Historical  sketches  in  the  Victor  Herald,  by  J.  W. 
Van  Denburgh,  and  the  writer's  private  journal. 

2  Kingston. 


DeNonville's  Expedition.  51 

died  and  thirty  militia,  over  one  hundred  colonial  scouts  and  four  hundred  In- 
dians. Of  this  force  M.  de  Callieres  was  commander-in-chief,  under  the  orders 
of  the  Marquis  DeNonville,  Chevalier  de  Vaudreuil,  commander  of  the  regu- 
lars, and  General  Sieur  Duguay  (Du  Gue)  commandant  of  the  militia.  The 
troops  were  formed  into  eight  platoons  of  two  hundred  men  each,  the  regulars 
under  Captains  D'Orvilliers,  St.  Cirg,  de  Troyes  and  Vallerennes,  the  militia 
under  Captains  Berthier,  la  Valterye,  Grandville  and  Longueil  Le  Moynes. 
In  the  order  of  march  a  battalion  of  regulars  succeded  one  of  militia,  alter- 
nately. Six  bateaux  were  assigned  to  each  company,  each  boat  carrying  eight 
men,  baggage  and  provisions,  each  captain  having  charge  of  twenty-four  ba- 
teaux. The  Indians  served  as  guides  and  scouts  and  marched  without  order. 
The  army  arrived  at  Cataracouy  July  ist,  after  a  terribly  laborious  voyage  up 
the  rapids  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  and  engaged  in  preparations  for  the  contem- 
plated expedition.  Two  of  the  little  vessels  were  loaded  with  supplies,  and 
two  large  bateaux  furnished  with  cannon  and  long  guns  to  cover  the  troops 
while  landing.  The  third  vessel  was  sent  to  Niagara  laden  with  provisions  and 
ammunition  for  a  party  under  Sieurs  de  Tonty,  de  la  Durantaye  and  du  Lhu 
(Du  Luth),  who  had  received  instructions  the  previous  summer  to  collect  all 
the  French,  and  Indian  allies  from  the  western  woods,  for  this  expedition.  Or- 
ders were  also  forwarded  by  messenger  for  the  reinforcements  to  meet  Gover- 
nor DeNonville  at  Irqndequoit  bay  on  a  certain  date. 

Notwithstanding  the  warlike  preparations  of  the  French,  which  drew  an 
official  remonstrance  from  Governor  Dongan  of  New  York  and  excited  the 
alarm  of  the  Five  Nations,  DeNonville  stoutly  declared  his  pacific  intentions, 
and,  under  a  pretense  of  holding  a  great  council  for  the  ratification  of  peace, 
induced  the  Jesuit  missionaries  to  decoy  to  Canada  a  number  of  Iroquois. 
Upon  their  arrival  at  Cataracouy  these  people  were  made  prisoners  and  fifty  of 
the  men,  including  several  sachems  and  chiefs,  sent  to  Montreal,  in  company 
with  certain  other  Indians  who  had  been  captured  while  fishing  on  the  river 
during  the  upward  voyage  of  the  French  army.  By  order  of  his  most  Chris- 
tian Majesty,  the  king,  these  proud  warriors  were  shipped  to  France  as  slaves 
for  the  royUl  galleys.  When  news  of  DeNonville's  infamous  act  reached  the 
Onondagas,  "among  whom  Father  Lamberville  was  then  residing  as  a  mis- 
sionary," says  Marshall,  "  the  chiefs  immediately  assembled  in  council  and  send- 
ing for  the  father  related  the  above  transaction  with  all  the  energy  which  a  just 
indignation  could  arouse,  and,  while  he  expected  to  feel  the  full  effects  of  the 
rage  which  he  saw  depicted  in  every  countenance,  one  of  the  old  men  unex- 
pectedly addres.scd  to  him  the  following  remarkable  language,  as  related  by 
Lamberville  himself:  — 

"It  cannot  be  denied,"  says  he,  "that  many  reasons  authorise  us  to  treat  you  as  an 
enemy,  but  we  have  no  inclination  to  do  so.  We  know  you  too  well  not  to  be  persuaded 
that  your  heart  has  taken  no  part  in  the  treachery  of  which  you  have  been  the  instru- 
ment, and  we  are  not  so  unjust  as  to  punish  you  for  a  crime  of  which  we  believe  you 


52  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

innocent,  which  you  undoubtedly  detest  as  much  as  we  do,  and  for  having  been  the  in- 
strument of  which  we  are  satisfied  you  are  now  deeply  grieved. .  It  is  not  proper,  how- 
ever, that  you  should  remain  here.  AH  will  not,  perhaps,  render  you  the  justice  which 
we  accord,  and  when  once  our  young  men  shall  have  sung  their  war  song,  they  will  look 
upon  you  only  as  a  traitor,  who  has  delivered  over  our  chiefs  to  a  cruel  and  ignoble 
slavery.  They- will  listen  only  to  their  own  rage,  from  which  we  will  then  be  unable  to 
save  you."  Having  said  this,  they  obliged  him  to  leave  immediately,  and  furnished 
guides  to  conduct  him  by  a  safe  route,  who  did  not  leave  him  until  he  was  out  of  danger. 

July  4th  the  army  embarked  at  daybreak,  and  crossing  the  lower  end  of 
Lake  Ontario  coasted  the  south  shore  westward..  So  admirably  were  the  plans 
of  DeNonville  arranged  and  executed  that,  though  aware  of  the  impending 
blow,  the  Iroquois  knew  not  in  what  quarter  it  would  strike,  and  hence  could 
adopt  no  general  measure  of  defense.  The  little  barque  that  had  been  dispatched 
to  Niagara  met  the  army  near  Sodus  bay  July  9th  with  ne'ws  of  the  reinforce- 
ments, and  then  returning  westward  hovered  about  the  mouth  of  Irondc- 
quoit  bay.  Iroquois  scouts  stationed  there  immediately  reported  the  presence 
of  the  vessel,  and  the  Seneca  sachems  sent  warriors  to  the  lake.  Posting  them- 
selves in  the  woods  at  the  west  end  of  the  sand-bar,  near  the  present  location 
of  the  Sea  Breeze,  they  were  surprised  and  nearly  cut  off  by  Indians  of  De- 
Nonville's  Niagara  party  who  came  down  the  lake  shore  on  foot,  the  main  body 
being  in  canoes.  This  party  consisted  of  one  hundred  and  seventy  French 
coureurs  des  bois,  and  three  hundred  western  Indians  of  all  nations,  enemies 
of  the  Iroquois.  They  arrived  at  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  July  loth,  at  the 
same  moment  with  the  army  under  DeNonville,  "by  reason  of  which,"  re- 
marked Baron  La  Hontan,  "our  savage  allies,  who  draw  predictions  from  the 
merest  trifles,  foretold,  with  their  usual  superstition,  that  so  punctual  a  meeting 
infallibly  indicated  the  total  destruction  of  the  Iroquois."  "The  first  thing 
with  which  I  occupied  myself  on  my  arrival,"  writes  the  French  governor, 
.  "  was  to  select  a  post  easy  to  be  fortified  for  securing  our  bateaux,  to  the  num- 
ber of  two  hundred,  and  as  many  canoes.  July  i  ith  was  spent  in  construct- 
ing palisades,  fascines  and  pickets,  for  securing  the  dike  that  separates  the  lake 
from  the  marsh,  in  which  we  had  placed  our  bateaux." 

On  their  voyage  to  Niagara  Durantaye's  forces  had  captured  and  pillaged 
two  parties  of  English  traders,  bound  to  the  west  under  the  guidance  of  a 
young  Canadian  named  La  Fontaine  Marion.  Baron  La  Hontan  mentions  him 
as  an  unfortunate  young  man  who  became  acquainted  with  the  country  and 
savages  of  Canada  by  the  numerous  voyages  he  made  over  the  continent. 
After  rendering  his  king  good  service  Marion  asked  permission  of  several  of  the 
governors-general  to  continue  his  travels  in  further  prosecution  of  his  petty 
traffic,  but  could  never  obtain  it.  As  peace  existed  between  the  two  crowns, 
he  determined  to  go  to  New  England,  where  he  was  well  received  on  account 
of  his  enterprise  and  knowledge  of  Indian  languages.  He  was  engaged  to 
pilot  two  companies  of  English  through  the  lakes  to  the  west,  and  it  was  those 


DkNonville's  Expedition.  53 

peaceful  traders  upon  whom  Durantaye  had  laid  violent  hands  and  brought 
them  captive  to  Irondequoit.  DeNonville  had  previously  sought  and  received 
the  sanction  of  the  king  to  treat  all  Frenchmen  found  in  the  service  of  the 
English  as  deserters.  While  the  sixty  Englishmen  were  sent  to  Montreal  and 
subsequently  released,  Marion  was  adjudged  a  traitor  and  his  doom  pronounced. 
The  morning  following  the  arrival  of  the  army  at  Irondequoit  the  sentence  of 
death  was  imposed.  On  the  calm  surface  of  the  lake  rode  the  French  navy 
of  three  small  sail.  Covering  the  broad  sand-beach  were  overturned  boats 
and  canoes;  on  the  elevatcd'part  of  the  sand-bar  stood  the  half-finished  fort' 
of  pickets  surrounded  by  the  army  tents  and  equipage.  "Never,"  says  an 
eye-witness,  "had  Canada  seen,  and  never  perhaps  will  it  see,  a  similar  spec- 
tacle. A  camp  composed  of  one-fourth  regular  troops  with  the  general's  suite  ; 
one-fourth  habitants  in  four  battalions,  with  the  gentry  of  the  country ;  one- 
fourth  Christian  Indians,  and  finally  a  crowd  of  all  the  barbarous  nations, 
naked,  tattooed,  and  painted  over  the  body  with  all  sorts  of  figures,  wearing 
horns  on  their  heads,  queues  down  their  backs,  armed  with  arrows."  For  a 
moment  there  is  a  profound  hush  in  camp.  All  eyes  are  turned  to  an  open 
square  in  the  center  —  a  file  of  soldiers  facing  the  lake  and  a  poor  wretch 
standing  alone  at  the  water's  edge  casting  a  last  despairing  glance  at  the  wild 
scene  about  him.  Then  a  sharp  command  is  given,  a  loud  report  follows,  and 
France  has  sacrificed  another  victim  to  her  cruel  policy  in  the  form  of  humble 
Marion. 

The  fort,  requiring  some  two  thousand  palisades  in  its  construction,  was 
completed  during  the  forenoon  of  July  12th.  For  its  defense  and  the  protec- 
tion of  the  boats  and  stores,  DeNonville  detached  four  hundred  and  forty  men 
under  command  of  D'Orvilliers.'  At  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the  army 
commenced  its  march  upon  the  Seneca  towns  in  the  interior.  The  advance 
guard  consisted  of  three  hundred  Christian  Indians  under  guidance  of  an  Iro- 
quois afterward  known  as  the  grandfather  of  Brandt,  with  the  western  Indians 
on  the  left,  supported  by  three  companies  of  courcurs  des  bois,  one  hundred 
Ottawas,  three  hundred  Sioux,  one  hundred  Illinois  and  fifty  Hurons.     Then 

1  This  palisade  fortification  was  built  on  tlie  sand-bar,  at  tlie  mouth  of  Irondequoit  bay,  about  eighty 
rods  from  its  eastern  end.  The  bar,  which  is  only  a  narrow  sand  ridge  to  the  west,  is  some  thirty  rods 
wide  at  this  point,  and  at  the  advent  of  the  first  white  settlers  was  from  fifteen  to  twenty  feet  high  in 
places.  Several  small  mounds  were  scattered  over  the  ground,  and  many  graves  were  discovered,  one 
marked  by  a  tablet  of  iron  bearing  an  inscription  in  some  unknown  language,  which  is  said  to  have 
liccn  neither  Spanish,  Dutch  nor  French.  During  the  construction  of  the  Rome,  Watertown  &  Og- 
dcnsburg  railroad,  which  crosses  the  bay  on  this  sand-bar,  several  button-wood  trees,  each  from  twelve 
to  eighteen  inches  in  diameter,  were  removed.  Under  some  of  these  were  found  iron  bullets,  parts  of 
gun-barrels  completely  oxidised,  iron  and  stone  tomahawks,  flint  arrow-heads,  etc.  In  1880  the  writer 
discovered  several  stone  relics  and  portions  of  two  human  skeletons  under  the  roots  of  a  tree  then 
standing  on  the  edge  of  an  excavation  near  the  railroad.  The  channel  connecting  the  waters  of  the 
bay  with  those  of  the  lake  has  changed  its  location  three  several  times  within  the  memory  of  persons 
now  living;  shifting  from  the  extreme  eastern  end  of  the  bar  to  the  western  end,  back  two-thirds  of 
the  distant?  to  the  eastern  shore  of  the  bay,  and  finally  to  its  present  location  in  the  center  of  the  bar. 


54  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

followed  the  regulara  and  militia,  with  the  rear  guard  of  savages  and  wood- 
rangers.  Ascending  the  bluff  at  the  end  of  the  sand-bar  and  following  a 
well-beaten  trail,  the  army  returned  to  the  south  among  lofty  trees  sufficiently 
open  to  allow  the  troops  to  march  in  three  columns.  The  objective  point  was 
Gannagcira,  and  the  army  made  three  leagues  (nine  miles)  that  afternoon.  "We 
left  on  the  next  morning,"  continues  DeNonville  in  his  official  report,  "with  the 
design  of  approaching  the  village  as  near  as  we  could,  to  deprive  the  enemy 
of  the  opportunity  of  rallying  and  seizing  on  two  very  dangerous  defiles  at  two 
rivers^  which  it  was  necessary  for  us  to  pass  and  where  we  should  undoubtedly 
meet  them.  These  two  defiles  being  passed  in  safety,  there  still  remained  a 
third  at  the  entrance  of  said  village,  at  which  it  was  our  intention  to  halt.  .  . 
.  .  .  About  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  M.  de  Callieres,  who  was  at  the 
head  of  the  three  companies  commanded  by  Tonty,  De  la  Durantaye  and  Du- 
Lhu,  and  all  our  savages  fell  into  an  ambuscade  of  Sonnontouans  posted  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  defile." 

DeNonville  gives  two  accounts  of  this  battle,  differing  widely,  and  others  are 
confusing.     That  of  the  Abbe  de  Belmont  is  the  best :  — 

"  The  march  was  a  little  hurried.  The  weary  troops  were  dying  with  thirst.  The 
two  bodies  found  themselves  at  too  great  distance  from  each  other.  The  scouts  were 
deceived ;  for  having  come  to  the  barrens,  or  plains,  they  found  five  or  six  women  who 
were  going  around  in  the  fields.  This  was  a  lure  of  the  Senecas  to  make  them  believe 
that  they  were  all  in  the  village.  The  territory  of  Ganesara  is  very  hilly ;  the  village 
is  upon  a  high  hill  which  is  surrounded  by  three  little  hills  or  terraces,  at  the  foot  of  a 
valley,  and  opposite  some  other  hills,  between  which  passes  a  large  brook  which  in  a 
little  valley  makes  a  little  marsh,  covered  with  alders.  This  is  the  place  which  they 
selected  for  their  ambuscade.  They  divided  themselves,  posted  three  hundred  men  along 
the  falling  brook  between  two  hills  in  a  great  thicket  of  beech  trees,  and  five  hundred 
at  the  bottom  of  these  hills  in  a  marsh  among  the  alders ;  with  the  idea  that  the  first 
ambuscade  of  three  hundred  men  should  let  the  army  pass  and  then  attack  them  in  the 
rear,  which  would  force  it  to  fall  into  the  second  ambuscade,  which  was  concealed  at 
the  bottom  of  the  hills  in  the  marsh.  They  deceived  themselves  nevertheless,  for  as 
the  advance  guard,  which  M.  de  Callieres  commanded,  was  very  distant  from  the  body 
under  the  command  of  the  marquis,  they  believed  it  was  the  entire  array.  Accordingly 
as  the  advance  guard  passed  near  the  thicket  of  beeches,  after  making  a  terrible  whoop 
(sakaqua !)  they  fired  a  volley.  The  Ottawas  and  the  heathen  Indians  all  fled.  The 
Christian  Indians  of  the  mountain  and  the  Sault,  and  the  Abenaquis  held  fast  and  gave 
two  volleys.  The  marquis  DeNonville  advanced  with  the  main  body,  composed  of  the 
royal  troops,  to  occupy  the  height  of  the  hill,  where  there  was  a  little  fort  of  pickets; 
but  the  terror  and  disorder  of  the  surprise  were  such  that  there  was  only  M.  de  Cal- 
zenne,  who  distinguished  himself  there,  and  M.  Dugue,  who  bringing  up  the  rear  guard 
rallied  the  battahon  of  Berthier,  which  was  in  flight,  and,  being  at  the  head  of  that  of 
Montreal,  fired  two  hundred  shots.  The  marquis,  en  chemise,  sword  in  hand,  drew  up 
the  main  body  in  battle  order,  and  beat  the  drum  at  a  time  when  scarcely  anyone  was 
to  be  seen.     This  frightened  the  three  hundred  Tsonnontouans  of  the  ambuscade,  who 

2  Allen  and  Irondequoit  creeks. 


DeNonville's  Expedition.  55 

fled  from  above  towards  the  five  hundred  that  were  ambushed  below.  The  fear  that 
all  the  world  was  upon  them  made  them  fly  with  so  much  precipitation  that  they  left 
their  blankets  in  a  heap,  and  nothing  more  was  seen  of  them." 

In  his  description  of  the  battle  Baron  La  Hontan  admits  a  serious  defeat 
of  the  French  :  — 

"When  we  arrived  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  on  which  they  lay  in  ambush,  distant  about 
a  quarter  of  a  league  from  the  village,  they  began  to  utter  their  ordinary  cries,  followed 
with  a  discharge  of  musketry.  If  you  had  seen,  sir,  the  disorder  into  which  our  militia 
and  regulars  were  thrown  among  the  dense  woods,  you  would  agree  with  me  that  it 
would  require  many  thousand  Europeans  to  make  head  against  these  barbarians.  Our 
battalions  were  immediately  separated  into  platoons,  which  ran  without  order,  pell  mell 
to  the  right  and  left,  without  knowing  whither  they  went.  Instead  of  firing  upon  the 
Irocjuois,  we  fired  upon  each  other.  It  was  in  vain  to  call  for  help  from  the  soldiers  of 
such  a  battalion,  for  we  could  see  scarcely  thirty  paces.  In  short  we  were  so  disordered 
that  the  enemy  were  about  to  fall  upon  us  club  in  hand,  when  our  savages,  having  ral- 
lied, repulsed  and  pursued  them  so  closely,  even  to  their  villages,  that  they  killed  more 
than  eighty,  the  heads  of  which  they  brought  away,  not  counting  the  wounded  who 
esca])ed.  We  lost  on  this  occasion  ten  savages  and  a  hundred  Frenchmen  ;  we  had 
twenty  or  twenty-two  wounded,  among  whom  was  the  good  Father  Angelran." 

Although  the  savage  allies  were  greatly  offended  at  the  refusal  of  DeNon- 
ville  to  leave  his  wounded  and  pursue  the  fleeing  Senecas,  the  French  com- 
mander ordered  a  bivouac  on  the  field.  "We  witnessed  the  painful  sight  of 
■  the  usual  cruelties  of  the  savages,"  writes  the  marquis  to  M.  de  Seignelay, 
"who  cut  the  dead  into  quarters,  as  is  done  in  slaughter-houses,  in  order  to  put 
them  into  the  kettle ;  the  greater  number  were  opened  while  still  warm,  that 
their  blood  might  be  drank.  Our  rascally  Ottawas  distinguished  themselves 
particularly  by  these  barbarities  and  by  their  poltroonery,  for  they  withdrew 
from  the  battle.  The  Hurons  of  Michilimaquina  did  very  well,  but  our  Chris- 
tian Indians  surpassed  all  and  performed  deeds  of  valor,  especially  our  Iroquois, 
on  whom  we  dared  not  rely  having  to  fight  against  their  own  relatives.     The 

Illinois  did  their  duty  well We  learned  from  some  prisoners  who 

had  deserted  from  the  Senecas  that  this  action  cost  them  forty-five  men  killed 
on  the  field,  twenty- five  of  whom  we  had  seen  at  the  shambles,  the  others  were 
seen  buried  by  this  deserter ;  and  over  sixty  very  severely  wounded. 
The  Abbe  de  Belmont  thus  continues  the  narrative :  — 

"We  marched  in  battle  order,  waiting  for  an  attack.  We  descended  the  hill  by  a 
little  sloping  valley,  or  gorge,  through  which  ran  a  brook  bordered  with  thick  bushes 
and  which  discharges  itself  at  the  foot  of  a  hill,  in  a  rnarsh  full  of  deep  mud,  but  planted 
with  alders  so  thick  that  one  could  scarcely  see.  There  it  was  that  they  had  stationed 
their  two  ambuscades,  and  where  perhaps  we  would  have  been  defeated,  if  they  had  not 
mistaken  our  advance  guards  for  the  whole  army  and  been  so  hasty  in  firing.  The  mar- 
quis acted  very  prudently  in  not  pursuing  them,  for  it  was  a  trick  of  the  Iroquois,  to 
draw  us  into  a  greater  ambuscade.  The  marsh,  which  is  about  twenty  acres,  being 
passed,  we  found  about  three  hundred  wretched  blankets,  several  miserable  guns,  and 
began  to  perceive  the  famous  Babylon  of  the  Tsonnontouans  ;  a  city  or  village  of  bark. 


S6  HiSTOKY  OF  THE  CiTY  OF  ROCHESTER. 

situated  on  the  top  of  a  mountain  of  earth,  to  which  one  rises  by  three  terraces  or 
hills.  It  appeared  to  us  from  a  distance  to  be  crowned  with  round  towers,  but  these 
were  only  large  chests  (drums)  of  bark  about  four  feet  in  length,  set  the  one  in  the  other 
about  five  feet  in  diameter,  in  which  they  keep  their  Indian  corn.  The  village  had  been 
burnt  by  themselves ;  it  was  now  eight  days  since.  We  found  nothing  in  the  town  ex- 
ce{)t  the  cemetery  and  graves.  It  was  filled  with  snakes  and  animals  ;  there  was  a  great 
mask  with  teeth  and  eyes  of  brass,  and  a  great  bear  skin  with  which  they  disguise  in 
their  cabins.  There  were  in  the  four  corners'  great  boxes  of  grain,  which  they  had  not 
burned.  They  had  outside  this  post  their  Indian  corn  in  a  piquet  fort  at  the  top  of  a 
little  mountain.  Steps  were  cut  down  on  all  sides,  where  it  was  knee-high  throughout 
the  fort." 

On  the  15th  several  old  men  and  women  were  captured  or  surrendered, 
one  of  the  old  men  being  father  or  uncle  of  the  chief  of  the  Senecas.  "After 
we  had  obtained  from  the  old  man  all  the  information  he  could  impart,"  con- 
tiriues  DeNonville  "he  was  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  reverend  Father  Bruyas, 
who,  finding  that  he  had  some  traces  of  the  Christian  religion  through  the  in- 
strumentality of  the  reverend  Jesuit  fathers,  missionaries  for  twenty  years  in 
that  village,  he  set  about  preparing  him  for  baptism,  before  turning  him  over 
to  the  Indians  who  had  taken  him  prisoner.  He  was  baptised,  and  a  little 
while  after  they  contented  themselves  at  our  solicitation,  with  knocking  him  on 
the  head  with  a  hatchet  instead  of  burning  him  according  t6  their  custom.  Our 
first  achievement  this  day  was  to  set  fire  to  the  fort  of  which  we  had  spoken. 
It  was  eight  hundred  paces  in  circumference,  well  enough  flanked  for  saveges,  ■ 
with  a  retrenchment  advanced  for  the  purpose  of  communicating  with  a  spring 
which  is  half  way  down  the  hill,  it  being  the  only  place  where  they  could  ob- 
tain water."  During  the  three  days  following,  the  French  were  engaged  in 
the  destruction  of  corn,  beans  and  other  produce,  multitudes  of  horses,  hogs 
^nd  various  kinds  of  property  belonging  to  the  Senecas ;  the  grain  of  the  small 
village  of  St.  Michael,  or  Gannogarae,  distant  a  short  league  from  the  large 
town,  being  destroyed  on  the  17th.  The  Indian  allies  were  busy  scouring  the 
country  and  reported  the  enemy  dispersed  through  the  woods  on  their  retreat 
to  the  Cayugas.  From  this  point  DeNonville's  narration  may  be  quoted 
directly :  — 

"On  the  19th  of  July  moved  our  camp  in  the  morning  from  near  the  village  of  St. 
James  or  Gannagaro,  and  encamped  before  Totiakton,^  surnamed  'the  great  village,'  or 
the  village  of  the  Conception,  distant  four  leagues  from  the  former.  We  found  there  a 
still  greater  number  of  planted  fields,  and  wherewithal  to  occupy  ourselves  for  many 

days On  the  21st  went  to  the  small  village  of  Gannounata,'  distant 

two  leagues  from  the  larger,  where  all  the  old  and  new  corn  was  destroyed  the  same 
day,  though  the  quantity  was  as  large  as  in  the  other  villages.     It  was  at  the  gate  of 

1  Boughton  hill. 

2  It  was  at  this  village  that  the  prods  verbal  (act  of  taking  formal  possession  of  the  country)  was  read. 

3  This  place  the  fourth  Seneca  village,  is  supposed  to  have  been  about  two  miles  southeast  of  East 
Avon,  at  the  source  of  a  small  stream  which  empties  into  the  Conesus,  near  Avon  springs.  It  was 
called  Dyu-do-o-sot,  by  the  Senecas,  from  its  location  "at  the  spring." 


ToTiAKTON — Its  Ancient  and  Modern  History.  $7 

this  village  that  we  found  the  arms  of  England,  which  Sieur  Dongan,  governor  of  New 
York,  had  caused  to  be  placed  there  contrary  to  all  right  and  reason,  in  the  year  1684, 
having  antedated  the  arms  as  of  the  year  1683,  although  it  is  beyond  question  that  we 
first  discovered  and  took  possession  of  that  country,  and  for  twenty  consecutive  years 
have  had  Fathers  Fremin,  Gamier,  etc.,  as  stationary  missionaries  in  all  these  villages. 
On  the  22d  we  returned  to  Totiakton,  to  continue  there  the  devastation  already  com- 
menced.    On  the  23d  we  sent  a  large  detachment  of  almost  the  entire  army 

to  complete  the  destruction  of  all  the  corn  still  standing  in  the  distant  woods.  About 
seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  seven  Illinois,  coming  alone  from  their  country  to  war 
against  the  Iroquois,  arrived  at  the  camp  as  naked  as  worms,  bow  in  hand,  to  the  great 
joy  of  those  whom  Sieur  de  Tonty  had  brought  to  us.  About  noon  of  the  same  day 
we  finished  the  destruction  of  the  Indian  corn.  We  had  the  curiosity  to  estimate  the 
whole  quantity,  green  as  well  as  ripe,  which  we  had  destroyed  in  the  four  Seneca  vil- 
lages, and  found  that  it  would  amount  to  350,000  minots  of  green,  and  50,000  of  old 
corn  [1,200,000  bushels].  We  can  infer  from  this  the  multitude  of  people  in  these  four 
villages,  and  the  great  suffering  they  will  experience  from  this  devastation. 

"  Having  nothing  more  to  effect  in  that  country,  we  left  our  camp  in  the  afternoon 
of  the  same  day  to  rejoin  our  bateaux.  We  advanced  only  two  leagues.  On  our  way 
a  Huron  surprised  a  Seneca  who  appeared  to  be  watching  our  movements.  He  was 
killed  on  the  spot  because  he  refused  to  follow  us.  On  the  24th  of  July  we  reached 
our  bateaux  after  marching, six  leagues.  We  halted  there  on  the  next  day,  the  25th,  in 
order  to  make  arrangements  for  leaving  on  the  26th,  after  having  destroyed  the  redoubt 
we  had  built.  We  dispatched  the  barque  for  Cataracouy,  which  we  had  found  with 
the  other  two  at  Ganniatarontagouat,  to  advise  the  intendant  of  the  result  of  our  expe- 
dition, and  by  that  opportunity  sent  back  those  of  our  camp  who  were  suffering  the 
most  from  sickness.  On  the  26th  we  set  out  for  Niagara,  resolved  to  occupy  that  post 
as  a  retreat  for  all  our  Indian  allies,  and  thus  afford  them  the  means  of  continuing,  in 
small  detachments,  the  war  against  the  enemy  whom  they  have  not  been  able  to  harass 
hitherto,  being  too  distant  from  them  and  having  no  place  to  retire  to." 


CHAPTER  IX. 

Totiakton  —  Its  Ancient  and  Modern  History  —  DeNonville's  Return  Route  to  the  Sand-Bar. 

THE  history  of  Totiakton  is  a  matter  of  local  interest,  and  the  positive  iden- 
tification of  its  former  site  will  explain  to  many  inquiring  minds  the  "mys- 
tery" regarding  the  numberless  antiquities  discovered  in  its  neighborhood.  In 
1677  Wentworth  Greenhalgh  made  a  journey  from  Albany  to  the  Indians  west- 
ward, lasting  from  May  27th  to  July  14th.  In  his  Observations  (Co/.  Mss., 
III.,  p.  252)  Mr.  Greenhalgh  says:  — 

"Tiotehatton  lyes  on  the  brinke  or  edge  of  a  hill,  has  not  much  cleared  ground,  is 
ncare  the  river  Tiotehatton,  which  signifies  'bending;'  itt  lyes  to  westward  of  Canagorah 
about  thirty  miles,  contains  aboUt  one  hundred  and  twenty  houses,  being  ye  largest  of 


58 


History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 


all  ye  houses  wee  saw,  ye  ordinary  being  about  fifty  or  sixty  feet  and  some  one  hundred 
and  thirty  or  one  hundred  and  forty  foott  long,  with  thirteen  or  fourteen  fires  in  one 
house,  they  have  a  good  store  of  corne  growing  about  a  mile  to  ye  northward  of  the 
towne.  Being  att  this  place  the  17th  of  June,  there  came  fifty  prisoners  from  the  south- 
west-ward, they  were  of  two  nations  some  whereof  have  few  gunns,  ye  other  none  at 
all ;  one  nation  is  about  ten  days  journey  from  any  Christians  and  trade  only  with  one 
greatt  house  nott  farre  from  ye  sea,  and  ye  other  trade  only,  as  they  say,  with  a  black 
people ;  this  day  of  them  was  burnt  two  women  and  a  man,  and  a  child  killed  with  a 
stone,  att  night  we  heard  a  greatt  noyse,  as  if  ye  houses  had  all  fallen,  butt  itt  was  only  ye 


I  Totiakton.     i,  a,  2  Ccmeleries. 
Sheldon.     8  J.  Russell.     9 


_   J,  3  Bhifls.      4  Palisaded  Fort.      5  Spring.      6,  6,  6  Honeoye  Gullet.      7  J.  T. 
Sheldon's  Plain.     10  Sibleyvtlle.     1 1  Honeoye  Falls.     12  Line  between  Mindon  and  iuist  Kush. 

MAI'  OF  TOTIAKTON  AND  VICINITY. 


inabitants  driving  away  ye  ghosts  of  ye  murthered.  The  i8th,  goeing  to  Canagorah. 
wee  overtook  ye  prisoners;  when  ye  soldiers  saw  us  they  stopped  each  his  prisoner  and 
made  him  sing,  and  cutt  off  their  fingers,  and  slasht  their  bodys  with  a  knife,  and  when 
they  had  sung  each  man  confessed  how  many  men  in  his  time  he  had  killed." 


Location  of  Totiakton.  59 

Totiakton  was  distant  from  Gannagora  just  eleven  miles  in  a  northwest 
direction.  Its  former  site  was  located  by  O.  H.  Marshall  in  1847.  Blacksmith, 
the  aged  Seneca  chief  from  whom  Mr.  Marshall  obtained  much  information, 
called  this  village  De-yu-di-haak-doh,  which  he  said  signifies  "the  bend,"  from 
its  location  on  a  bend  of  the  creek.  In  this  he  agrees  with  Greenhalgh.  The 
present  writer  has  searched  out  the  old  town  site  and  prepared  the  foregoing 
map  of  the  locality  from  personal  survey. 

It  is  in  the  town  of  Mendon,  Monroe  county,  on  the  northeasternmost  bend 
of  Honeoye  outlet,  two  miles  north  of  Honeoye  Falls,  and  exactly  twelve  and 
one-half  miles  in  an  air  line  due  south  of  the  center  of  Rochester.  In  this 
vicinity  the  Honeoye  flows  in  a  beautiful  valley  varying  from  one-fourth  to 
three-fourths  of  a  mile  in  width,  and  the  channel  twists  and  turns  in  all  direc- 
tions through  the  fertile  bottom.  The  ancient  town  was  located  on  the  table 
land  which  projects  into  the  west  side  of  the  valley  in  the  form  of  a  bold  bluff, 
facing  the  east,  at  an  elevation  of  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  above  the 
water.  This  ground  was  purchased  by  Abncr  Sheldon,  in  1802,  and  is  now 
included  in  the  estate  of  his  son  J.  F.  Sheldon,  a  gentleman  whose  courtesy 
and  valuable  assistance  in  the  collection  of  many  facts  connected  with  this  sub- 
ject will  be  long  and  gratefully  remembered.  The  so-called  "  clear  ground," 
when  Abner  Sheldon  came  in  possession,  consisted  of  "oak  openings,"  and  a 
number  of  large  trees  were  then  scattered  about  the  old. town  site.  Judging 
from  the  limits  within  which  relics  have  been  found,  the  Indian  village  occu- 
pied an  area  of  about  twenty-five  acres.  A  plentiful  supply  of  water  was  ob- 
tained from  springs  situated  along  the  base  of  the  bluff  to  the  north.  A  fine 
"medicine"  spring  of  sulphur- water  is  now  in  operation.  The  ground  has  been 
under  cultivation  seventy-five  years,  yielding  an  annual  harvest  of  antiquities 
including  human  bones,  gun-barrels,  locks,  knives  and  hatchets  of  iron ;  toma- 
hawks, arrow-heads,  pestles,  skinners,  etc.,  of  stone;  wampum  and  beads  of 
clay ;  pottery,  brass  kettles  and  trinkets,  brass  rings  bearing  the  legend  I.  H.  S., 
pipes,  bullets,  etc.,  etc.  Three  cemeteries  have  been  discovered  in  locations 
designated  on  the  map,  and  all  skeletons  unearthed  have  been  found  in  a  sitting 
posture,  facing  the  east. 

On  the  edge  of  the  bluff,  about  eighty-five  rods  southeast  of,  and  overlook- 
ing the  old  town,  Mr.  Sheldon  discovered  the  ruins  of  a  palisade  inclosure, 
occupying  half  an  acre  of  land.  It  was  nearly  square  in  form  and  built  of  logs 
twelve  feet  long  set  closely  together  in  the  earth  to  the  depth  of  four  feet.  At 
the  date  of  its  discovery  the  timber  was  greatly  decayed,  many  of  the  palisades 
having  rotted  to  the  ground.  It  was  doubtless  erected  by  the  Indians  who 
rallied  immediately  after  DeNonville's  departure,  as  a  temporary  abode,  and 
defense  prior  to  their  permanent  settlement  elsewhere.  The  statement  of  De- 
Nonville  and  other  historians  of  the  expedition,  regarding  the  immense  amount 
of  corn  destroyed  by  the  French  troops,  has  been  questioned  by  late  writers, 

5 


6o  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

yet  a  thorough  survey  of  old  Totiakton  and  its  environs  cannot  fail  to  impress 
one  with  a  sense  of  the  good  judgment  exercised  by  the  aboriginal  inhabitants 
in  its  selection  as  a  place  of  permanent  abode,  and  the  superior  advantages 
possessed  by  the  natives  for  the  cultivation  of  the  soil.  About  two  hundred 
acres  of  ground  lying  southwest  of  the  old  Indian  village  presents  a  surpris- 
ingly smooth,  level  surface,  and  was  long  known  as  "Abraham's  plain."  It  is 
now  termed  "  Sheldon's  plain."  The  Indian  corn  fields  mentioned  by  Green- 
halgh  were  in  the  oak  openings  on  this  plain,  and  the  rich  flats  in  the  valley 
bottom  were  undoubtedly  cultivated  to  some  extent. 

DeNonville  states  that  the  French  left  Totiakton  in  the  afternoon  of  July 
23d,  and  advanced  two  leagues  (six  miles).  On  the  following  day  they  reached 
their  bateaux  at  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  bay,  after  marching  six  leagues  or 
eighteen  miles.  It  is  evident  that  the  expedition  did  not  return  to  Irondequoit 
over  the  same  route  by  which  it  reached  Totiakton,  and  the  course  pursued  by 
the  army  on  its  return  to  the  sand-bar  has  never,  within  the  knowledge  of  the 
present  writer,  been  described  or  suggested  in  print.  As  early  as  1682  the 
French  had  become  accustomed  to  all  the  woods  and  acquainted  with  all  the 
roads  through  them  {^Col.  Mss.,  IX.,  195),  and  the  Jesuits,  several  of  whom  ac- 
companied the  expedition,  had  occupied  missions  in  all  the  Seneca  towns  for  a 
period  of  twenty  years,  and  doubtless  understood  every  mile  of  Indian  path 
east  of  the  Genesee.  So  well  known  and  public  a  thoroughfare  as  the  portage 
trail  between  Red  creek  ford  and  Irondequoit  landing  could  not  have  escaped 
their  knowledge,  Personal  researches  have  satisfied  the  writer  that  the  Indians 
once  had  a  road  from  the  Honeoye  outlet  to  Red  creek  ford.  This  trail  crossed 
the  Honeoye  north  of  old  Totiakton,  ran  nearly  west  to  an  Indian  village  at 
the  present  East  Rush  cemetery,  and  thence  northwest  to  the  farm  now  owned 
by  Marvin  Williams  half  a  mile  south  of  West  Henrietta  corners,-  where  evi- 
dences of  early  Indian  occupation  have  been  frequently  found.  A  second  trail 
left  the  Honeoye  above  Rush  junction,  ran  north  via  Hart's  Corners  and  crossed 
the  farm  of  David  Ely  in  its  course  straight  to  the  town  on  the  Williams  farm, 
which  is  about  six  miles  from  old  Totiakton.  This  place  would  have  been  De- 
Nonville's  camping  ground  on  the  night  of  July  23d  if  he  had  followed  this 
trail.  At  the  east  base  of  the  hill  upon  which  the  town  was  located  is  a  large 
pond  said  to  have  been  the  original  source  of  Red  creek.  The  distance  from 
the  camp  down  the  Red  creek  trail  to  the  ford,  and  via  the  portage  trail  and 
Irondequoit  landing  to  the  sand-bar,  is  about  twenty-two  miles.  If  the  French 
army  pursued  this  route  it  passed  over  the  present  site  of  Rochester ;  but  it 
would  appear  that  this  road  is  much  too  long. 

The  writer  has  traced  a  trail  from  the  Irondequoit  landing-path  at  the  resi- 
dence of  Charles  M.  Barnes  in  Brighton,  across  the  Pittsford  road  to  an  old 
town  site  on  Allen's  creek  in  the  town  of  Pittsford,  which  ran  up  the  east  side 
of  the  creek  directly  south.     If  this  trail  continued  on  the  same  general  course 


Numerical  Strength  of  the  Iroquois.  6i 

it  would  strike  Totiakton.  On  this  line,  a  short  distance  north  of  Mendon  Cen- 
ter, are  several  large  ponds  fed  by  springs,  where  the  Senecas  went  to  fish,  and 
numerous  indications  of  Indian  camps  have  been  found  the  entire  length  of  the 
Allen's  creek  valley.  The  distance  from  the  old  Indian  settlement,  by  the  pres- 
ent road,  to  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  bay  is  about  twenty-two  miles,  and  this 
agrees  more  perfectly  with  DeNonville's  estimate  of  eight  leagues,  or  twenty- 
four  miles.  That  an  Indian  path  once  extended  over  this  line  from  Irondequoit 
to  Mendon  can  hardly  be  doubted,  though  its  exact  course  is  not  known,  and 
it  is  very  probable  that  the  French  army  returned  to  the  sand-bar  on  this  trail. 


CHAPTER  X. 

Strength  of  the  Iroquois  —  A  Terrible  Revenge  —  French  Invasions  —  Irondequoit  a  Place  of  Great 
Importance  in  Colonial  Times  —  Fort  des  Sables  —  Charlevoix  Describes  the  Casconchiagon  —  Captain 
Schuyler  Builds  a  Trading-House  at  Irondequoit  Landing  —  His  Official  Instructions  —  Oliver  Culver 
Discovers  the  Ruins  of  the  Trading-House  —  Senecas  Sell  the  Lower  Genesee  Country  to  the  King  of 
England — British  Armies  at  Irondequoit. 

THE  early  French  ignored  the  native  names  of  people  and  places  in  many 
instances,  and  applied  such  designations  as  pleased  themselves.  Occa- 
sionally Indian  names  were  used,  but  not  as  a  rule.  The  Mohawk  canton  was 
called  Anniegue,  the  Oneida  Onneiout,  the  Onondaga  Onnontague,  Cayuga 
Oioguen,  and  the  Seneca  Sonnontouan.  In  1665  the  Jesuits  estimated  the  num- 
ber of  warriors  at  2,340.  In  1667  Colonel  Courcey,  agent  for  Virginia,  stated 
that  the  Five  Nations  had  2,150  warriors.  Wentworth  Greenhalgh  in  1677 
placed  the  number  of  fighting  men  at  2,150.  In  1685  DeNonville  gave  the 
numerical  strength  of  the  Iroquois  as  follows:  Mohawks  250,  Oneidas  150, 
Onondagas  300,  Cayugas  200,  Senecas  1,200,  or  2,100  men  all  told,  capable 
of  bearing  arms.  Marshall  estimates  the  entire  population  about  that  date  as 
7,000,  but  Bancroft  says  that  in  1660  the  whole  number  could  not  have  varied 
much  from  ten  thousand ;  and  their  warriors  strolled  as  conquerors  from  Hud- 
son's bay  to  Carolina,  and  from  the  Kennebec  to  the  Tennessee.  The  Seneca 
was  the  most  powerful  nation  of  the  league,  and  had  all  its  braves  been  a 
home  when  the  French  arrived  at  Irondequoit,  the  history  of  DeNonville's 
expedition  would  doubtless  record  a  disastrous  repulse  of  the  invaders,  who 
claimed  that  they  routed  and  put  to  flight  eight  hundred  Senecas.  The  latter 
stated  that  the  greater  part  of  their  warriors  were  absent,  fighting  distant  foes, 
and  their  entire  force  in  the  engagement,  with  the  French  consisted  of  only  four 
hundred  and  fifty  men.  The  Seneca  loss  probably  did  not  greatly  exceed  one 
hundred,  and  many  of  these  were  old  men  and  boys  not  reckoned  active  war- 
riors, hence  their  military  strength  was  but  sHghtly  diminished.     They  retreated 


62  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

to  Canandaigiia,  and  in  an  incredibly  short  space  of  time  collected  a  force  of 
one  thousand  men,  who  took  the  trail  for  Niagara.  Upon  the  completion  of 
the  fort  at  that  place  by  the  French,  a  detachment  under  La  Hontan  was  or- 
dered west  to  relieve  the  garrison  of  Fort  St.  Joseph  at  Detroit.  That  officer 
portaged  the  falls  of  Niagara  and  embarked  his  troops  at  Schlosser.  The  party 
had  barely  left  the  land  when  the  thousand  Iroquois  appeared  on  the  shore  in 
close  pursuit.  The  French  succeeded  in  reaching  Lake  Erie  in  safety,  and, 
distancing  the  heavy  canoes  of  the  Indians,  escaped  to  the  north  shore. 

In  1688  DeNonville  induced  the  Five  Nations  to  send  a  delegation  to  Mon- 
treal for  the  purpose  of  agreeing  upon  terms  of  peace.  The  Iroquois  dispatched 
seventeen  hundred  men  to  the  St.  Lawrence,  five  hundred  visiting  Montreal  as 
a  peace  delegation,  and  twelve  hundred  awaiting  the  result  near  at  hand.  A 
treaty  was  concluded,  but  one  Kondiaronk,  a  Huron  chief,  determined  to  frus- 
trate it.  When  a  party  of  the  Iroquois  peace  envoys  were  returning  up  the 
St.  Lawrence,  Kondiaronk  attacked  them,  killed  several  and  captured  the  rest. 
He  represented  that  he  was  acting  upon  an  understanding  with  the  French,  and, 
when  informed  that  he  had  destroyed  a,  peace  delegation,  affected  great  indig- 
nation, released  his  prisoners  and  advised  them  to  avenge  their  fallen  friends. 
During  the  summer  twelve  hundred  Iroquois  landed  on  the  south  side  of  Mon- 
treal, and  destroyed  the  place,  slaughtering  men,  women  and  children  without 
mercy.  Smith  says  that  "a  thousand  French  were  slain  in  the  invasion,  and 
twenty-six  carried  into  captivity  and  burned  alive.  Many  more  were  made 
prisoners  in  another  attack  in  October,  and  the  lower  part  of  the  Island  of  Mon- 
treal wholly  destroyed." 

War  between  France  and  England  occurred  soon  after,  lasting  until  1697. 
With  few  exceptions  the  Iroquois  remained  implacable  enemies  of  the  French, 
and  the  latter  made  several  invasions  of  the  Iroquois  country.  In  1689  La 
Hontan  entered  New  York  from  the  south  shore  of  Lake  Erie  with  an  army  of 
western  Indians,  and  had  several  engagements  with  the  Iroquois,  but  his  battle 
grounds  have  never  been  identified.  In  February,  1692,  an  army  of  French 
and  Huron  allies  attacked  the  hunting  parties  of  the  Senecas  in  Upper  Canada. 
In  1693  the  Mohawk  country  was  devastated.  The  last  French  expedition 
against  the  Five  Nations  of  which  we  have  any  record  occurred  in  1696,  when 
Count  de  Frontenac  landed  an  army  at  Oswego  and  destroyed  the  crops  of  the 
Onondagas  and  Oneidas.  That  expeditions  were  made  to  the  Seneca  country, 
and  battles  fought  here  of  which  no  known  record  exists,  is  fully  believed  by 
those  who  have  given  the  subject  of  Indian  antiquities  thought  and  study. 
Did  space  permit,  many  excellent  reasons  influencing  this  belief  might  be  pre- 
sented. The  French  occupancy  of  Western  New  York  has  never  been  fully 
recorded,  and  lasting  memorials  of  unknown  struggles  upon  .our  honie  soil  have, 
for  years,  proved  perplexing  obstacles  to  the  completion  of  a  perfect  history. 
From  1689  to  the  treaty  of  Utrecht,  in  1713,  the  French  and  English  may  be 


Fort  des  Sables.  63 


said  to  have  been  continually  at  war  in  all  our  great  lake  region,  and  the  con- 
test for  dominion  and  control  of  the  Indian  trade  ceased  only  upon  the  final 
overthrow  of  French  power  in  Canada.  During  all  this  period  Oswego,  Iron- 
dequoit  and  Niagara  remained  subjects  of  contention. 

In  April,  1700,  Robert  Livingstone,  then  secretary  of  Indian  affairs  for  New 
York,  made  a  journey  to  Onondaga  to  ascertain  the  condition  of  matters  within 
his  jurisdiction.  In  his  report  of  the  trip  to  the  earl  of  Bellomont,  he  says; 
"I  do  humbly  offer  that  it  is  morally  impossible  to  secure  the  Five  Nations  to 
the  English  interest  any  longer,  without  building  forts  and  securing  the  pa.sses 
that  lead  to  their  castles."  Mr.  Livingstone  recommended  the  erection  of  a 
fort  between  Lakes  Erie  and  Huron  at  a  point  744  miles  southwest  of  Albany, 
and  mentions  the  route  to  that  place  as  follows  :  "Albany  to  Terindequat  [Iron- 
dequoit]  at  the  Lake  of  Cadatacqui  [Ontario]  400  miles,  thence  to  Onyagara 
where  the  great  fall  is  eighty  miles,  from  thence  to  the  beginning  of  Swege 
[Erie]  lake  64  miles,  to  Swege  creek  and  from  thence  to  Wawachtonok  160 
miles."  He  also  recommended  a  fort  on  the  Onondaga  river,  to  be  garrisoned 
with  100  youths,  and  remarked  :  "  It  is  true  that  the  French  do  trade,  and  have 
small  hutts  and  berks  which  they  call  forts  at  some  of  those  Indian  habitations 
where  they  have  priests." 

The  governor  of  Canada  also  desired  to  erect  forts,  one  at  Niagara,  "the 
second  at  Jerondaquat,  that  is,  on  this  side  of  Cadaracqui  lake  where  the  path 
goes  up  to  the  Sinnekes  castles,  about  thirty  miles  from  where  the  Sinnekes 
have  now  their  castles."  August  20th,  1701,  Lieutenant-Governor  Nanfan 
reported  to  the  lords  of  trade  that  he  had  procured  from  the  Five  Nations  an 
instrument  whereby  they  conveyed  to  the  crown  of  England  a  tract  of  land 
800  miles  long  and  400  broad,  including  all  their  beaver  hunting,  which  tract 
began  at  Jarondigat."  1 

In  1 716,  the  French  erected  a  building  near  the  present  site  of  the  Sea 
Breeze  hotel  at  the  northwest  angle  of  Irondequoit  bay  and  Lake  Ontario.^ 
It  was  known  to  the  French  as  Fort  des  Sables,  and  appears  to  have  been  con- 
sidered quite  an  important  station.  Ata  private  conference  held  in  June,  1717, 
between  Governor  Hunter  of  New  York  and  two  sachems  of  each  of  the  Five 
Nations,  the  latter  said  :  — 

"We  have  had  two  messages  from  hence  —  one  la,st  fall  and  another  this  winter  — 
to  inquire  if  the  French  had  built  a  fort  and  planted  a  garrison  on  this  side  the  great  lake, 
at  a  place  called  Terondoquat,  belonging  to  the  Sinnekes;  we  could  not  give  them  a 
positive  answer  till  we  had  sent  as  far  as  the  Senekes ;  but  now  can  tell  your  excellency 
that  there  is  no  such  thing,  but  that  the  French  have  built  a  trading-house  at  the  said 
place,  where  they  supply  our  Indians  with  powder  and  lead  to  fight  against  the  Flat- 
heads  and  other  enemies  of  the  Five  Nations  ;  and  we  must  likewise  acquaint  you  that 


1  Col.  Mss.,  IV.,  888. 

2  For  the  identification  of  this  location  1  am  indebted  to  my  good  friend  B.  Fernow,  keeper  of  his- 
torical documents  of  the  state  library  at  Albany. 


64  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

our  people  are  furnished  with  other  goods  also  at  the  said  French  trading-house,  as 
clothing  and  other  necessaries,  which  stops  a  great  deal  of  peltry  coming  hither;  but  the 
French  are  supplied  with  all  those  goods  from  the  people  here  at  Albany,  which  goes 
first  to  Canada  and  from  thence  up  Mount  Royal  river  and  so  on  to  Terondoquat,  where 
the  French  trading-house  is  built  upon  ground  belonging  to  the  Sennekes.  If  you  will 
stop  that  trade  of  goods  being  carried  from  hence  to  Canada  the  other  trade  will  fall  of 
course." 

In  May,  1720,  Lawrence  Clawsen  was  sent  to  Niagara  to  protest  against 
the  erection  of  forts  on  the  Seneca  lands,  by  the  French,  and  in  his  journal 
says :  "  On  the  7th  I  returned  to  Tjerondequatt,  where  I  mett  a  French  smith 
sent  by  the  governor  of  Canada  to  work  for  the  Sinnekies  gratis." 

It  would  seem  that  Fort  des  Sables  was  not  in  the  ordinary  sense  a  military 
post.  Charlevoix  tells  us  that  the  French  erected  cabins,  surrounded  by  pickets, 
"to  which  they  give  beforehand  the  name  of  Fort,  for  they  say  that  in  time 
it  will  be  changed  into  a  real  fortress."  Rev.  John  Durant,  who  passed  Ironde- 
quoit  in  17 18,  says  the  French  left  only  one  storekeeper  and  two  soldiers  at 
such  posts  during  each  winter.  In  October,  1720,  the  Sieur  de  Joncaire  left 
Montreal  for  Niagara,  with  two  canoes  laden  with  merchandise,  and  twelve 
soldiers,  "whereof  he  sent  six  when  he  arrived  at  the  fort  of  Cataraque.  He 
pursued  afterward  his  voyage,  but  the  ice  stopped  him  thirty-five  leagues  from 
the  mouth  of  the  river  of  Niagara,  where  he  was  obliged  to  go  into  another  river 
called  Gaschonchiagon,  where  he  passed  the  winter."  Father  Charlevoix 
stopped  at  Irondequoit  bay  ifiKMay,  172 1,  on  his  journey  westward,  and,  writ- 
ing soon  after  from  Niagara,  says :  — 

"I  departed  from  the  river  of  Sables  the  21st,  before  sunrise;  but,  the  wind  con- 
tinuing against  us,  we  were  obliged  at  ten  o'clock  to  enter  the  bay  of  the  Tsonnon- 
thouans  [Braddock's  bay].  Half  way  from  the  river  of  Sables  to  this  bay  there  is  a 
little  river  [the  Genesee],  which  I  would  not  have  failed  to  have  visited,  if  I  had  been 
sooner  informed  of  its  singularity,  and  of  what  I  have  just  now  learned  on  my  arriving 
here.  They  call  this  river  Casconchiagon.  It  is  very  narrow  and  of  little  depth  at  its 
entrance  into  the  lake.  A  little  higher  it  is  one  hundred  and  forty  yards  wide,  and  they 
say  it  is  deep  enough  for  the  largest  vessels.  Two  leagues  from  its  mouth  we  are 
stopped  by  a  fall  which  appears  to  be  sixty  feet  high,  and  one  hundred  and  forty  yards 
wide.  A  musket  shot  higher  we  find  a  second  of  the  same  width,  but  not  so  high  by 
two-thirds.  Half  a  league  further  a  third,  one  hundred  feet  high,  good  pleasure,  and 
two  hundred  yards  wide.  After  this  we  meet  with  several  torrents;  and  after  having 
sailed  fifty  leagues  further  we  meet  a  fourth  fall  [Portage]  every  way  equal  to  the  third. 
The  course  of  this  river  is  one  hundred  leagues,  and  when  we  have  gone  up  it  about 
sixty  leagues  we  have  but  ten  to  go  by  land,  taking  to  the  right,  to  arrive  at  the  Ohio, 
called  La  Belle  Riviere.  The  place  where  we  meet  with  it  is  called  Ganos ;  where  an 
officer  worthy  of  credit  (M.  de  Joncaire)  and  the  same  from  whom  I  learnt  what  I  have 
just  now  mentioned,  assured  me  that  he  had  seen  a  fountain  the  water  of  which  is  like 
oil,  and  has  the  taste  of  iron.  He  said  also  that  a  little  further  there  is  another  fountain 
exactly  like  it,  and  that  the  savages  make  use  of  its  waters  to  appease  all  manner  of 
pains.  The  bay  of  the  Tsonnonthouans  is  a  charming  place.  A  pretty  river  winds 
here  between  two  meadows,  bordered  with   little  hills,  between  which  we  discover 


SOUTHEAST  VIEW  OF  THE  GREAT  CATARACT 

ON  CASCONCHIAGON  OR  LITTLE  SENEGA'S  RIVER,  LAKE  ONTARIO. 

1768. 


SOUTHEAST  VIEW  OF  THE  LOWER  CATARACT 
ON  CASCONCHIAGON  [GENESEE]  OR  LITTLE  SENEGA'S  RIVER,  LAKE  ONTARIO. 

1768. 


Trading  House  at  Irondequoit.  65 

valleys  which  extend  a  great  way,  and  the  whole  fprms  the  finest  prospect  in  the  world, 
bounded  by  a  great  forest  of  high  trees;  but  the  soil  appears  to  be  somewhat  light 
and  sandy." 

The  actual  occupation  of  the  Seneca  country  by  the  French  was  an  incen- 
tive to  the  English  to  adopt  measures  for  protection  of  the  Indian  trade,  and 
in  the  early  summer  of  1721  the  assembly  of  New  York  passed  an  act  for 
raising  the  sum  of  five  hundred  pounds  for  securing  the  Indians  to  the  English 
interest.  This  sum  Governor  Burnet  expended  chiefly  in  the  establishment 
of  a  settlement  at  Irondequoit.  His  project  met  with  the  hearty  approval  of 
the  authorities  at  Albany,  and  a  small  company  of  volunteers  was  promptly 
organised  to  carry  it  into  effect.  This  company  consisted  of  Captain  Peter 
Schuyler,  jr.,  Lieutenant  Jacob  Verplanck,  Gilleyn  Verplanck,  Johannis  Van 
den  Bergh,  Peter  Gronendyck,  David  Van  der  Heyden  and  two  others  w^ose 
names  are  unknown.  Governor  Burnet's  instructions  to  Captain  Schuyler 
were  as  follows  : — 

"  You  are  with  all  expedition  to  go  with  this  company  of  young  men  that  are  will- 
ing to  settle  in  the  Sinnekes'  country  for  a  twelvemonth  to  drive  a  trade  with  the  far 
Indians  that  come  from  the  upper  lakes,  and  endeavor  by  all  suitable  means  to  persuade 
them  to  come  and  trade  at  Albany  or  with  this  new  settlement.  You  are  not  to  trade 
with  the  four  hithermost  nations  but  to  carry  your  goods  as  farr  as  tlie  Sinnekes' 
country  to  trade  with  them  or  any  other  Indian  nations  that  come  hither.  You  are  to 
make  a  settlement  or  trading-house  either  at  Jerondoquat  or  any  other  convenient  place 
on  this  side  of  Cadarachqui  lake  upon  the  land 'belonging  to  the  Sinnekes,  and  use  all 
lawful!  means  to  draw  the  furr  trade  thither  by  sending  notice  to  the  farr  Indians  that 
you  are  settled  there  for  their  ease  and  incouragement  by  my  order,  and  that  they  may 
be  assured  they  shal  have  goods  cheaper  here  than  ever  the  French  can  afford  them  at 
Canada,  for  the  French  must  have  the  principal  Indian  goods  from  England,  not  having 
them  of  their  own.  You  are  also  to  acquaint  all  the  far  Indians  that  I  have  an  abso- 
lute promise  and  engagement  from  the  Five  Nations  that  will  not  only  suffer  them  to 
pass  freely  and  peaceably  through  their  country,  but  will  give  them  all  due  encourage- 
ment and  sweep  and  keep  the  path  open  and  clean  when  ever  they  intend  to  come  and 
trade  with  this  province.  Being  informed  that  there  are  sundry  French  men  called  by 
the  Dutch  'bush  loopers,'  and  by  the  French  coureurs  du  bois,  who  have  for  several 
years  abandoned  the  French  colony  of  Canada  and  live  wholly  among  the  Indians,  if 
any  such  come  to  trade  with  you,  with  their  furrs,  you  may  supply  them  and  give  them 
all  possible  incouragement  to  come  hither  where  they  shall  be  supplyed  with  Indian 
goods  much  cheaper  than  at  Canada.  Altho  the  place  where  ypu  settle  be  land  be- 
longing to  the  crown  of  Great  Britain,  both  by  the  surrender  of  the  natives  and  the 
treaty  of  peace  with  France,  nevertheless  you  are  to  send  out  skouts  and  spyes  and  be 
ui)on  your  guard,  the  French  not  being  to  be  trusted,  who  will  use  all  means  to  prevent 
the  far  Indians  coming  to  trade  with  you  or  their  coming  to  Albany.  You  are  to  keep 
an  exact  dyary  or  journall  of  all  your  proceedings  of  any  consequence,  and  keep  a 
constant  correspondence  with  the  commissioners  of  the  Indian  affairs  at  Albany,  whom 
I  will  order  to  give  me  an  account  thereof  from  time  to  time,  and  whenever  you  shall 
receive  orders  from  me  to  treat  with  the  Sinnekes,  or  any  of  the  Five  Nations,  you  are 
to  be  carefuU  to  minute  down  your  proceedings  and  their  answers,  and  to  send  them  to 
me  with  the  first  opportunity,  inclosing  them  to  the  commissioners  of  the  Indian  affairs 


66  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

who  will  forward  them  with  all  expedition,  and  if  any  matters  of  great  moment  and  fit 
to  be  kept  very  secret  do  occur,  you  are  to  send  an  account  thereof  to  me  in  a  letter 
sealed,  which  may  be  inclosed  to  the  commissioners  in  order  to  be  forwarded,  and  you 
are  not  obliged  to  mention  such  matters  in  your  letter  to  the  commissioners.  When 
you  come  to  the  Sinnekes'  country  you  are  to  give  them  a  belt  of  wampum  in  token 
that  they  are  to  give  credit  to  you  as  my  agent  to  treat  with  them  of  all  matters  relat- 
ing to  the  public  service  and  the  benefit  of  the  trade,  and  at  your  desire  to  furnish  you 
with  a  number  of  their  people  as  you  shall  want  for  yoyr  assistance  and  safety  on  such 
conditions  as  you  and  they  can  agree  upon.  When  you  have  pitched  upon  a  con- 
venient place  for  a  trading-house,  you  are  to  endeavor  to  purchase  a  tract  of  land  in 
the  king's  name,  and  to  agree  with  the  Sinnekes  for  it  which  shall  be  paid  by  the  publick 
in  order  that  it  may  be  granted  by  patent  to  those  that  shall  be  the  first  settlers  there 
for  their  incouragement.  You  are  not  to  hinder  or  molest  any  other  British  subjects  who 
are  willing  to  trade  there  on  their  own  hazard  and  account  for  any  Indian  goods,  rum 
only  excepted.  You  are  to  communicate  to  the  company  such  articles  of  your  instruc- 
tions as  shall  be  proper  for  their  regulation  from  time  to  time.  If  you  judge  it  neces- 
sary you  may  send  one  or  two  of  your  company  either  among  the  far  Indians,  or  to 
come  to  Albany,  as  the  necessary  service  of  the  company  shall  require,  but  not  above 
two  of  the  said  company,  of  which  yourself  may  be  one,  will  be  permitted  to  be  absent 
at  one  time.  When  you  are  about  to  absent  yourself  from  the  said  settlement  you  are 
to  leave  a  copy  of  such  part  of  instructions  with  the  lieutenant  as  you  judge  necessary 
for  his  regulation.  All  the  goods  and  merchandize  that  you  and  said  company  shall 
take  away  with  you  are  to  be  upon  one  joint  stock  and  account  and  all  your  profitt  and 
losse  to  be  the  same.  Given  under  my  hand  at  the  manor  of  Livingston  the  eleventh 
day  of  September  in  the  eighth  year  of  his  majesty's  reign,  anno  Dom.  1721. 

"Wm:  Burnet." 
Additional  Instructions. 

"Whereas  it  is  thought  of  great  use  to  the  British  interest  to  have  a  settlement  upon 
the  nearest  port  of  the  Lake  Eree  near  the  falls  of  lagara,  you  are  to  endeavor  to 
purchase  in  his  majesty's  name  of  the  Sinnekes  or  other  native  propriators  all  such 
lands  above  the  falls  of  lagara  fifty  miles  to  the  southward  of  the  said  falls  which  they 
can  dispose  off,  you  are  to  have  a  copy  of  my  propositions  to  the  Five  Nations  and  their 
answer,  and  to  use  your  utmost  endeavors  that  they  do  perform  all  that  they  have 
promised  therein,  and  that  none  of  these  instructions  be  shewn  to  any  person  or  persons 
but  what  you  shall  think  necessary  to  communicate  to  the  lieutenant  and  the  rest  of 
the  company." 

Upon  his  arHval  at  Irondequoit  Captain  Schuyler  selected  a  location  for 
his  trading-house  secure  from  French  surveillance,  yet  affording  easy  access 
from  Lake  Ontario,  and  control  of  all  Indian  paths  leading  to  the  water.  The 
actual  site  of  the  building  was  a  little  plateau  overlooking  the  noted  Indian 
landing  on  Irondequoit  creek,  at  the  eastern  terminus  of  the  grand  portage 
trail.  This  spot  may  be  regarded  as  the  most  important  point  in  all  the.  lower 
Genesee  country.  It  was  the  great  Indian  landing-place  from  Lake  Ontario, 
and  general  trading-ground  of  the  early  tribes..  Previous  to  the  building 
of  Fort  des  Sables  the  French  ran  their  little  sailing  vessels  up  the  bay  and 
creek  to  this  landing,  and  it  was  doubtless  at  this  place,  and  not  in  the  Genesee 


Purchase  of  Irondequoit  by  the  English.  6y 

river,  that  the  brigantlne  of  La  Salle  dropped  anchor  in  June,  1670.  There 
the  Senecas  went  to  trade  furs  for  arms,  trinkets  and  brandy;  there  Father 
Hennepin  left  the  bartering  crew  of  French  and  Indians,  and  wandered  deep 
into  the  woods,  built  a  chapel  of  bark  wherein,  secure  from  observation  and  in 
communion  with  nature,  he  performed  his  religious  duties.  ^  The  house  erected 
by  Captain  Schuyler's  company  stood  a  short  distance  from  the  edge  of  the 
bluff,  with  one  side  facing  the  creek.  It  was  an  oblong  structure  of  consider- 
able size.  After  an  occupation  lasting  one  year,  Captain  Schuyler  returned  to 
Albany  in  September,  1772,  with  all  his  company.  While  excavating  the 
earth  for  a  building  upon  the  same  location  about  1798,  Oliver  Culver  dis- 
covered the  foundation  logs  of  a  block-house,  evidently  destroyed  by  fire,  and 
musket  balls,  etc.,  in  large  quantities.  It  has  been  assumed  by  certain  writers 
that  the  ruins  discovered  at  the  Irondequoit  creek  landing  by  Mr.  Culver  were 
the  remains  of  a  battery  or  redoubt  built  by  DeNonville,  and  that  his  army 
actually  landed  at  that  place,  but  this  is  an  error.  As  we  have  already  shown, 
DeNonville's  army  landed  at  the  mouth  of  Irondequoit  bay,  and  the  only 
fortification  erected  by  the  French  at  that  time  was  on  the  sand-bar.  It  is 
supposed,  however,  that  the  "first  defile"  mentioned  by  DeNonville  was  the 
passage  through  the  valley  at  the  Irondequoit  landing.  The  ruins  found  by 
Mr.  Culver  were  undoubtedly  the  lower  logs  of  Captain  Schuyler's  trading- 
house. 

For  many  years  Irondequoit,  as  the  great  pass  to  the  Seneca  country, 
proved  a  bone  of  earnest  contention  between  French  and  English,  each  nation 
proposing  to  build  a  stone  fortress  at  the  entrance  of  the  bay  upon  obtaining 
the  consent  of  its  rightful  owners,  the  Seneca  Indians.  In  August,  1741, 
Lieutenant-Governor  Clarke,  of  New  York,  wrote  the  lords  of  trade  as 
follows : — 

"  I  have  the  honor  to  inform  your  lordships  that  by  the  means  of  some  people 
whom  I  sent  last  year  to  reside  in  the  Senecas'  country  (as  usual)  I  obtained  a  deed 
for  the  lands  at  Tierrondequat  from  the  sachimes,  and  I  have  sent  orders  to  those 
people  to  go  around  the  lands  in  company  with  some  of  the  sachimes  and  to  mark  the 
trees,  that  it  may  be  known  at  all  times  hereafter  how  much  they  have  given  up  to  us.'' 
"Deed  to  His  Majesty  of  the  Lands  Around  Tierondequat. 

"To  all  people  to  whome  these  presents  shall  or  may  come  We,  Tenekokaiwee, 
Tewasajes  and  Staghreche,  Principall  Sachims  of  the  Sinnekes'  country,  native  Indians, 
of  the  province  of  New  York,  send  greeting.  Know  yee  that  for  sundry  good  causes 
and  considerations  us  Moveing  but  More  Especially  for  and  in  consideration  of  the 
value  of  one  hundred  pounds  currant  money  of  the  said  province,  unto  us  in  hand  paid 
and  delivered  at  and  before  the  ensealing  and  delivery  hereof  by  the  receipt  whereof  we 
do  hereby  acknowledge  and  therewith  to  be  fully  paid  and  contented  thereof  and  there- 
from and  of  and  from  every  part  and  parcell  thereof,  do  fully  clearly  and  absolutely 
request  exonerate  and  discharge  them    the  Said  their  Executors  Administrators  and 

1  New  Discovery,  p.  109. 


68  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Assigns  and  every  of  them  forever  by  these  presents  have  therefore  given  granted 
released  and  forever  quit  Claimed  and  by  these  presents  for  us  and  our  defendants  do 
give  grant  release  and  forever  quit  claim  unto  our  most  gracious  Sovereign  Lord 
George  the  second  by  the  grace  of  God  of  Great  Britain  France  and  Ireland  King 
Defender  of  the  faith  etc.,  his  heirs  and  Successors  all  our  Right  title  and  Interest 
Claime  property  profession  and  demand  of  in  and  to  all  that  tract  of  land  Scituate 
lying  and  being  in  the  county  of  Albany  beginning  on  the  bank  of  the  Oswego  lake 
six  miles  easterd  of  Tierondequat  and  runs  from  thence  along  the  Lake  westward 
twenty  miles  and  from  the  Lake  southeastward  thirty  miles  keeping  that  distance  from 
the  Lake  all  the  way  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  with  all  and  Singular  of  woods 
underwoods  trees  mines  mineralls  quarrys  hereditaments  and  appertenances  whatsoever 
and  the  Reversion  and  Reversions  Remainder  and  Remainders  Rents  Issues  and 
Profitts  thereof  to  have-  and  to  hold  all  and  singular  the  above  bargained  premisses  with 
the  appurtenances  unto  our  said  most  gracious  Sovereign  Lord  his  heirs  Successors  and 
Assigns  to  the  sole  and  only  proper  use  benefitt  and  behoof  of  our  said  Sovereign  Lord 
his  heirs  Successors  and.  Assigns  for  ever,  in  Testimony  whereof  we  have  hereinto  sett 
our  marks  and  seals  this  tenth  day  of  January  in  the  fourteenth  year  of  his  Majesties 
Reign  annoq:   Dom  :   i74f- 

v(V^  Sergrmen. 
Dekoschten  I        ^_ 

alias  Tenehokaiwee       "^^  ^ 

/T  Sergrmen. 


Signed  Sealed  and  Delivered  Twessa 

In  the  presence  of 


l^O 


Hendryck  Wempel  „  "^  ^     Sergrmen, 

--      _  Staichreseh     W  ° 


Jacobus  Van  Eps 
Philip  Ryder 


^O 


"Albany  3d  October  1741  appeared  before  Philip  Livingston  Esquire  one  of  his 
Majesties  Councill  for  the  Province  of  New  York  Hendrik  Wemp  Jacobus  Van  Eps 
and  Philip  Ryder  who  declared  on  the  holy  Evangelists  of  Almighty  God  that  they 
saw  the  within  named  Tenehokaiwe  Tewassajes  and  Staghreche  Sachims  Sign  Scale  and 
deliver  ye  within  deed  as  their  voluntary  act  and  deed  for  the  use  therein  mentioned. 

"  P :  Livingston." 

Governor  Clarke  made  repeated  efforts  to  effect  the  settlement  of  an  English 
colony  at  Irondequoit,  without  success.  Oswego,  being  on  the  main  water 
communication  between  Albany  and  Lake  Ontario,  and  Niagara,  controlling 
the  passage  to  Erie  and  the  western  lakes,  became  the  principal  points  of 
contest,  and  great  forts  were  built  at  those  places  while  Irondequoit  remained 
a  simple  trading  station.  July  1st,  1759,  General  Prideaux,  with  Sir  William 
Johnson  second  in  command,  left  Oswego  with  an  army  of  two  thousand  men 
and  five  hundred  Indians  on  an  expedition  against  Fort  Niagara,  at  the  mouth 
of  Niagara  river,  then  occupied  by  the  French.  The  expedition  was  supplied 
with  heavy  artillery  and  all  necessary  military  equipments  for  a  protracted 
siege,  and  was  transported  in  vessels,  bateaux  and  canoes.  Coasting  the  south 
shore  of  Lake  Ontario,  the  first  night's  encampment  was  at  Sodus,  the  second 


The  Seneca  Castles  on  the  Genesee.  69 

at  Irondequoit  and  the  third  in  Braddock's  bay  —  which  latter  place  was  then 
named  Prideaux  bay,  in  honor  of  the  English  commander,  who  was  killed  a 
few  days  later  during  the  siege.  At  each  halting-place  discharges  of  artillery 
were  made  to  inspire  their  Indian  allies  with  courage,  and  their  foes  with  terror. 
Upon  the  surrender  of  Fort  Niagara  Sir  William  Johnson,  with  nearly  all  his 
army  and  six  hundred  prisoners,  returned  down  the  lake  to  Oswego,  again  camp- 
ing at  Irondequoit.  In  1764  General  Bradstreet  left  Oswego  upon  an  expedi- 
tion against  the  hostile  western  tribes  under  Pontiac.  During  the  passage  up 
Lake  Ontario  his  army,  consisting  of  twelve  hundred  troops,  followed  by  Sir 
William  Johnson  with  six  hundred  Indians,  also  encamped  at  Irondequoit. 
Israel  Putnam,  of  Bunker  Hill  fame,  was  then  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  Con- 
necticut battalion  in  the  expedition,  and  several  other  men  who  subsequently 
became  illustrious  patriots  of  the  Revolution,  were  ofificers  of  Bradstreet's  army. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

The  Seneca  Castles  on  the  Genesee  —  Treaty  of  Peace  with  the  English  —  Decline  of  Iroquois 
Power  —  Sullivan's  Campaign  against  the  Senecas  —  Fa,te  of  Lieutenant  Boyd  —  Sullivan's  Troops  on 
the  Site  of  Rochester. 

THE  red  men  seldom  rebuilt  upon  the  site  of  a  town  destroyed  by  enemies, 
though  they  occasionally  settled  in  the  near  vicinity  of  such  places.  As 
a  rule  the  surviving  inhabitants  removed  to  a  distance.  After  the  destruction 
of  their  four  principal  villages  by  DeNonville,  the  Senecas  sought  other  local- 
ities for  their  settlements.  Towns  sprang  up  in  the  lower  Genesee  country, 
mainly  on  the  trails  leading  to  Irondequoit  bay,  but  as  early  a?  1715  their  cas- 
tles were  located  on  the  middle  and  upper  Genesee.  The  frequent  removals 
and  establishment  of  new  towns  render  any  chronological  account  of  the  Seneca 
settlements  impossible.  The  soil  of  the  Genesee  valley  is  rich  with  humble 
memorials  of  their  presence  in  every  part  of  its  rugged  uplands  and  alluvial 
flats,  and,  did  space  permit,  it  might  prove  an  interesting  theme  to  point  out 
existing  evidences  of  several  large  Indian  towns  which  were  located  in  the  im- 
mediate neighborhood  of  Rochester ;  but  this  shall  be  our  task  at  some  future 
day  ;  at  present  we  must  hasten  with  the  record  of  changes  contemporary  with 
the  close  of  aboriginal  occupation.  For  a  period  of  twenty  years  following  the, 
termination  of  French  dominion  in  Western  New  York  in  1759  there  are  few' 
events  of  direct  local  bearing  recorded  in  history.  The  Iroquois  had  steadily' 
maintained* their  sole  right  to  possession  of  the  Genesee  country  against  all 
comers,  and  upon  the  overthrow  of  the  French  at  Niagara  naturally  sided  with 
them  against  the  conquerors,  entering  into  active  preparations  to  rid  the  coun- 


70  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

try  of  every  Englishman.  Immediately  succeeding  the  treaty  of  Paris  in  1763 
and  consequent  end  of  the  French  war,  the  Iroquois  decided  to  acquiesce  in 
the' general  submission  to  British  rule.  April  3d,  1764,  a  preliminary  treaty 
was.arranged  between  the  Senecas  and  English  at  Johnson  Hall,  and  ratified 
at  Niagara  the  following  summer  under  a  peremptory  threat  of  General  Brad- 
street  to  at  once  destroy  the  Seneca  settlements  if  the  peace  compact  was  not 
promptly  and  fully  confirmed  by  all  the  nation.  This  treaty  was  the  beginning 
of  the  end  of  Indian  domination  in  the  Genesee  country.-  Among  other  con- 
cessions wrung  from  the  Senecas  by  the  terms  of^this  peace  was  the  surrender 
of  title  to  lands  along  the  Niagara  river  between  Lakes  Ontario  and  Erie. 
Having  large  niilitary  forces  at  Oswego  and  Niagara,  the  English  were  prepared 
to  follow  up  this  acquisition  of  title  by  actual  occupation  and  control  of  the 
grounds  ceded,  and  the  foothold  thus  obtained  by  the  whites  was  never  relin- 
quished. 

The  diversion  of  the  direct  channel  of  western  tradi  to  and  through  Oswego 
eastward,  upon  the  ascendency  of  the  English,  rendered  Irondequoit  and  the 
lower  Genesee  comparatively  unimportant  stations,  or  ports  of  the  Senecas. 
Individual  traders  and  small  parties  of  whites  often  visited  the  Indian  settle- 
ments and  British  troops  occasionally  passed  through  the  dark  forests,  but  the 
border  line  of  civilisation  was  far  to  the  eastward,  and  the  exciting  events  pre- 
ceding the  struggle  between  the  colonists  and  mother-land  failed  to  disturb  the 
primitive  peace  of  our  home  wilderness.  Through  all  the  dreadful  scenes  of 
the  Revolution  the  occurrences  on  the  lower  Genesee  were  confined  to  the  pas- 
sage of  war  parties  of  British  and  Indians,  but  the  great  "  vale  of  the  Senecas" 
became  a  stronghold  and  secure  retreat  for  predatory  bands  of  tories  and  sav- 
ages, who  made  frequent,  desolating  incursions  and  "hung  like  a  scythe  of 
death"  about  all  the  border  towns  of  the  American  colonists.  In  retahation  Gen- 
eral John  Sullivan  invaded  the  Genesee  country  with  an  army. of  four  thousand 
men  during  the  summer  of,  1779,  and  destroyed  the  Indian  settlements.  On 
his  march  up  the  Tioga  —  or  Chemung,  as  it  is  now  called  —  he  attacked  and 
routed  some  twelve  or  fifteen  hundred  British  troops,  tories  and  savages  under 
Butler,  Johnson  and  Brandt,  who  were  intrenched  at  Newtown,  about  four 
miles  below  the  present  city  of  Elniira.  The  retreating  enemy  were  followed 
to  Geneva,  Canandaigua  and  Conesus.  Sullivan  expected  to  find  the  famous 
Genesee  Indian  castle  at  the  mouth  of  the  Canaseraga  creek,  but  in  all  his  army 
there  was  not  a  single  person  sufficiently  acquainted  with  the  country  to  guide 
a  party  outside  the  Indian  trails,  and  on  his  arrival  at  Ka-naugh-saws  (head  of 
Conesus  lake)  he  dispatched  Lieutenant  Thomas  Boyd  of  Morgan's  rifle  corps, 
with  twenty-six  men,  to  ascertain  the  location  of  the  town.  Boyd's  little  band 
crossed  the  Conesus'  outlet  and  followed  the  trail  to  a  village  on  the  Canaseraga, 
about  seven  miles  distant,  which  was  found  deserted,  the  fires  still  burning. 

The  party  encamped  near  the  town  and  on  the  following  morning,  Septem- 


Sullivan's  Expedition.  71 

ber  13th,  1779,  started  to  rejoin  the  army.  Just  as  they  were  descending  the 
hill  at  the  base  of  which  the  army  lay,  five  or  six  hundred  warriors  and  loyal- 
ists under  Brandt  and  Butler  rose  up  before  them  and  with  horrid  yells  closed 
in  upon  the  little  band  from  every  side.  In  the  terrific  struggle  that  followed, 
all  the' party  were  killed  except  Murphy,  McDonald,  Putnam  and  a  Canadian, 
who  escaped,  and  Boyd  and  Parker,  who  were  captured.  The  prisoners  were 
conducted  to  Little  Beard's  Town  (now  Cuylerville),  which  was  then  termed  the 
Chinesee  castle,  and  upon  their  refusal  to  impart  information  regarding  Sulli- 
van's army  were  turned  over  to  the  Indians.  Parker  was  simply  beheaded,  but 
Boyd  was  subjected  to  the  most  horrible  tortures  that  savage  ingenuity  could  in- 
flict. Sullivan's  soldiers,  who  had  crossed  the  Genesee  to  attack  Little  Beard's 
Town,  were  so  close  at  the  time  that  the  advance  found  the  remains  of  Boyd 
and  Parker  while  the  blood  was. still  oozing  from  the  headless  trunks.  They 
were  buried  that  evening  with  military  honors,'  under  a  clump  of  wild  plum 
trees,  at  the  junction  of  two  small  streams  which  form  Beard's  creek,  and  a 
large  mound  was  raised  over  the  grave.  ^ 

Previous  to  the  arrival  of  Sullivan's  army  the  Indians  had  sent  all  their 
women  and  children  to  Silver  lake,  and  upon  the  first  appearance  of  the  Amer- 
ican troops  on  the  west  side  of  the  river  the  enemy  fled  precipitately.  Brandt 
with  his  warriors  and  the  British  regulars  took  the  Moscow  trail  for  Buffalo 
creek  and  Niagara,  while  the  tory  rangers  went  to  the  Caledonia  springs.  From 
that  place  Walker,  the  noted  British  spy,  was  sent  to  Fort  Niagara  with  instruc- 
tions to  obtain  a  sufficient  number  of  boats  to  transport  the  tories  and  meet 
them  at  the  mouth  of  the  Genesee  river.  The  rangers  then  came  down  the  trail 
to  Red  creek  ford  at  the  rapids  in  South  Rochester  (see  chapter  VI.),  where 
they  divided  into  two  parties,  one  going  directly  to  the  lake,  by  the  St.  Paul 
street  route;  the  other  over  the  portage  trail  to  Irondequoit  landing  and  the 
tories'  retreat  in  the  great  ox-bow  curve  of  the  Irondequoit  creek,  thence  across 
the  country  to  the  mouth  of  the  Genesee,  where  the  boats  from  Niagara  found 
the  entire  party  in  a  starving  condition  some  days  later.  Little  Beard's  Town 
is  said  to  have  been  the  extreme  western  point  reached  by  Sullivan,  and  it  has 
long  been  a  question  of  considerable  interest  whether  any  part  of  his  army  de- 
scended the  Genesee  to  the  vicinity  of  Rochester.  Following  the  arrival  of  the 
troops  at  the  Genesee  castle  all  property  of  the  Indians  was  ruthlessly  destroyed, 
including  one  hundred  houses,  some  two  hundred  acres  of  grain,  large  crops  of 
beans  and  potatoes,  and  several  orchards,  one  of  which  contained  fifteen  hun- 
dred trees.  "While  this  work  was  in  progress  at  Little  Beard's  Town,"  says 
Norton,  "General  Sullivan,  according  to  the  undisputed  tradition  of  years,  sent 
Generals  Poor  and  Maxwell  down  the  river  to  Cannawaugus,  which  place  they' 
destroyed,  and  on  this  return  march  likewise  burned  Big  Tree  village.      Gen- 


1  For  an  account  of  the  final  disposition  of  their  bones,  the  reader  is  referred  to  chapter  XIX.  of  this 
history. 


72  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

eral  Sullivan  makes  no  mention  of  this  fact,  nor  is  the  destruction  of  Canna- 
waugus  recorded  in  the  numerous  journals  kept  by  officers  of  Sullivan's  army; 
the  conclusion  is  irresistible  that  no  portion  of  the  army  got  as  far  north  as 
Cannawaugus,  and  that  that  village  escaped  the  general  destruction ;  Big  Tree 
village,  it  is  sufficient  to  say,  had  no  existence  on  the  Genesee  until  after  the 
Revolution."  i 

While  the  return  route  of  Sullivan's  army  is  fully  understood,  it  is  not  prob- 
able that  the  minor  incidents  of  each  scouting  expedition  were  considered  of 
sufficient  importance  to  merit  special  record.  Sullivan's  spies  undoubtedly 
followed  the  retreating  enemy  some  distance,  and  one  or  more  parties  of  scouts 
may  have  trailed  the  tories  to  Irondequoit  and  the  mouth  of  the  river.  The 
rangers  certainly  believed  that  Sullivan's  men  were  in  their  immediate  vicinity, 
as  they  concealed  themselves  in  the  brush  and  dared  not  shoot  a  gun,  build  a 
fire  or  expose  their  precious  carcasses  until  the  appearance  of  Walker  with  the 
boats  for  their  removal.  The  Indians  retreated  to  Fort  Niagara,  and  most  of 
the  Senecas  remained  there  during  the  winter,  which  was  unusually  severe. 
The  food  furnished  by  the  British  being  insufficient  and  of  inferior  quality,  hun- 
dreds of  Indians  died  from  starvation  and  scurvy.  Few  ever  returned  to  their  . 
old  homes  east  of  the  Genesee,  the  main  body  of  Senecas  settling  at  Buffalo 
creek,  Squawkie  hill,  Little  Beard's  Town  and  Cannawaugus.  Some  came  upon 
the  lower  Genesee,  and  as  late  as  1796  the  town  located  on  the  Culver  farm  in 
Irondequoit  (see  chapter  VI.)  numbered  over  three  hundred  inhabitants.  Their 
power  as  a  nation  was  completely  broken,  and  upon  the  conclusion  of  peace 
between  the  United  States  and  England,  the  latter  nation  made  no  provision 
for  her  defeated  Indian  allies,  leaving  them  entirely  to  the  mercy  of  the 
Americans. 

1  Sullivan's  Campaigit,  by  A.  Tiffany  Norton,  p.  i66.  While  this  statement  of  Norton's  would 
appear  to  effectually  dispose  of  the  question,  it  is  quite  certain  that  the  pioneers  of  the  lower  Genesee 
firmly  believed  that  .Sullivan's  army,  or  some  considerable  portion  of  the  troops,  actually  came  within 
the  present  boundaries  of  Rochester.  In  1810  Jacob  Miller  settled  the  Red  creek  ford  farm  on  the  east 
bank  of  the  Genesee,  and  found  a  number  of  decaying  boats  near  the  mouth  of  Red  creek.  ■  Mr.  Miller 
was  repeatedly  informed  by  Indians  that  these  were  the  remains  of  boats  used  by  Sullivan's  soldiers 
who  came  down  the  river  in  pursuit  of  the  tory  rangers. 

About  1821  Charles  M.  Barnes,  Calvin  and  Russell  Eaton  and  a  fourth  boy  named  Stanley  were  at  . 
play  on  the  bank  of  Allen's  creek  in  Brighton,  near  the  crossing  of  East  avenue.  They  noticed  a  man, 
apparently  about  seventy  years  of  age,  looking  around  at  various  objects,  and  inquired  what  he  was 
searching  for.  The  stranger  replied  "  I  was  in  Sullivan's  army,  and  the  first  night  after  the  fight  I 
slept  under  a  large  white  oak  tree  that  stood  near  this  spot.  The  place  has  altered  very  much,  but  I 
recollect  that  it  was  under  a  tree  that  stood  close  to  the  creek."  The  boys  pointed  out  a  large  white 
oak  Titump  standing  on  the  east  bank  of  the  stream  some  rods  below,  and  the  stranger  thought  that 
might  have  been  the  exact  spot  where  he  slept,  but  could  not  say  positively,  as  the  surroundings  were 
so  changed.  He  told  the  boys  his  name  and  rank  and  related  several  incidents  of  Sullivan's  march. 
Mr.  Barnes  is  still  living,  hale  and  hearty  at  seventy-three,  and  has  a  distinct  remembrance  of  the  cir- 
cumstance, though  the  name  of  the  stranger  was  forgotten  years  ago.  The  relation  of  similar  incidents 
was  common  among  our  early  settlers,  and  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  they  were  founded  on  fact. 


First  White  Occupancy.  73 


CHAPTER  XII. 

The  White  Man's  Occupancy  of  the  Genesee  Country  —  The  Native  Title  Extinguished  —  Indian 
Reservations  —  Present  Indian  Population. 

THE  soldiers  of  Sullivan's  army  carried  to  their  eastern  homes  wonderful 
tales  of  Western  New  York,  of  its  grand  forests,  natural  meadows,  rich 
soil  and  valuable  watercourses,  and  to  many  the  Genesee  country  became  the 
land  of  promise  and  the  Eden  of  pioneer  hopes.  At  the  close  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary war  all  of  New  York  west  of  German  Flats  was  a  wilderness  inhabited 
by  Indians  only.  At  the  conclusion  of  peace  in  1783  King  George  III.  re- 
linquished his  claim  to  this  territory,  to  the  United  States.  The  state  of  New 
York  asserted  her  right  to  all  lands  extending  westerly  to  Lakes  Erie  and  On- 
tario, founding  her  claim  mainly  as  successor  to  the  Five  Nations  and  on  the 
acquiescence  of  the  British  crown.  Massachusetts  resisted  this  claim  upon  the 
ground  of  prior  title  to  certain  portions  of  the  land  by  virtue  of  a  charter  granted 
to  the  council  of  Plymouth  by  King  James  I.  in  1620.  This  dispute  was  settled 
by  a  treaty  held  at  Hartford,  Connecticut,  in  December,  1786.  Among  other 
conditions  of  the  settlement,  Massachusetts  relinquished  all  sovereignty  and 
jurisdiction  over  all  that  part  of  the  state  of  New  York  lying  west  of  a  meridian 
drawn  through  Seneca  lake,  and  comprising  what  were  subsequently  known  as 
the  Phelps  &  Gorham  and  Holland  Land  company's  purchases  (see  New  York 
Charter,  by  O.  H.  Marshall),  reserving  the  right  of  preemption  in  the  soil,  or 
in  other  words  the  right  to  purchase  of  the  Indians.  In  April,  1788,  Oliver 
Phelps  and  Nathaniel  Gorham  purchased  of  Massachusetts  the  preemption 
right  of  the  territory  ceded  to  that  state,  comprising  some  six  million  acres, 
for  one  million  dollars.  In  July  of  that  year  these  gentlemen  extinguished 
the  "native  right"  to  a  portion  of  these  lands  by  purchase  of  the  Indians  at  a  ■ 
treaty  held  at  Buffalo,  and  in  1790,  being  unable  to  fulfill  their  agreement  with 
Massachusetts,  prevailed  on  that  commonwealth  to  take  back  four  million 
acres  and  reduce  the  amount  of  ther  purchase  money  to  thirty-one  thousand 
pounds.  After  settling  a  portion  of  their  tract,  in  November,  1790,  Phelps  and 
Gorham  disposed  of  nearly  all  the  residue,  about  1,264,000  acres,  to  Robert 
Morri.s,  who  sold  the  same  to  Charles  Williamson,  who  held  it  in  trust  for  Sir 
William  Pulteney.  The  Pulteney  estate  was  bounded  "on  the  north  by  Lake 
Ontario,  east  by  the  preemption  line,  south  by  the  state  of  Pennsylvania,  west 
by  a  transit  meridian  line  due  north  from  latitude  42  to  the  Genesee  riv^at 
its  junction  with  the  Canaseraga  creek,  thence  by  the  Genesee  river  to  the 
south  line  of  Caledonia,  thence  west  twelve  miles,  and  thence  northwesterly  by 
the  east  line  of  the  'triangle,'  twelve  miles  west  of  the  Genesee  river  to  Lake 
Ontario."  It  is  not  our  purpose  at  this  time  to  trace  the  succession  of  title 
to  lands  in  Western  New  York.     It  is  sufficient  to  say  that  Massachusetts  sold 


74  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

the  four  million  acres  given  up  by  Phelps  and  Gorham,  to  Robert  Morris.  In 
1 792-3  Mr.  Morris  sold  nearly  all  of  his  interest  in  lands  west  of  the  Genesee 
river,  to  Herman  Le  Roy,  William  Bayard,  Matthew  Clarkson,  Garrett  Boon 
and  John  Linklaen,  in  trust  for  certain  gentlmen  in  Holland,  and  this  tract  was 
afterward  known  4s  the  "Holland  Purchase."  A  law  permitting  aliens  to  hold 
real  estate  was  passed  soon  after,  enabling  Sir  William  Pulteney  and  the  Hol- 
landers to  assume  the  titles  of  their  respective  estates.  By  the  terms  of  his 
transactions  with  Sir  William  Pulteney  and  the  Holland  company,  Mr.  Morris 
was  bound  to  extinguish  the  whole  native  title  to  all  lands  between  Seneca 
lake  and  the  Niagara  frontier,  and  accordingly  a  treaty  with  the  Senecas  was 
held  at  Geneseo  (Big  Tree)  in  September,  1797.  Of  the  six  million  acres  in 
Western  New  York  owned  by  the  Indians  previous  to  Phelps  and  Gorham 's 
first  purchase  in  1787,  the  terms  of  the  Geneseo  treaty  left  for  their  use  only 
the  following  described  "  reservations:" — 

"  1 .  Cannawaugus,  two  square  miles  lying  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Genesee  river,  west 
of  Avon.  2  and  3.  Big  Tree  and  Little  Beard,  in  all  four  square  miles  on  the  west 
bank  of  the  Genesee,  near  Geneseo.  4.  Squawkie  Hill,  two  miles  square,  on  the  west 
bank  of  the  Genesee,  north  of  Mount  Morris.  5.  Gardeau,  or  Gardow,  the  "white 
woman's"  reservation,  containing  abovit  twenty-eight  square  miles  (17,927  acres)  on  both 
sides  of  the  Genesee  river,  between  Mount  Morris  and  Portage.  6.  Caneadea,  sixteen 
square  miles,  on  both  sides  of  the  Genesee  above  Portage.  7.  Oil  Spring,  one  square 
mile  on  the  line  between  Alleghany  and  Cattaraugus  counties.  8.  Alleghany,  forty-four 
square  miles,  on  both  sides  of  the  Alleghany  river,  near  Salamanca.  9.  Cattaraugus, 
forty-two  square  miles,  on  both  sides  and  near  the  mouth  of  Cattaraugus  creek,  on 
Lake  Erie,  twenty-six  miles  north  of  Buffalo.  10..  Buffalo,  one  hundred  and  thirty 
square  miles,  on  both  sides  of  Buffalo  creek,  near  Buffalo.  11.  Tonawanda,  seventy 
square  miles,  on  both  sides  of  Tonawanda  creek,  about  twenty-five  miles  from  its  mouth, 
and  sixteen  miles  northeast  of  Buffalo.  12.  Tuscarora,  one  square  mile,  on  the  moun- 
tain ridge,  three  miles  east  of  Lewiston." 

The  Indian  title  to  all  these  reservations,  except  Alleghany,  Cattaraugus, 
Tonawanda  and  Tuscarora,  has  since  been  extinguished.  As  early  as  1820 
the  red  man  had  few  representatives  in  the  Genesee  valley,  and  about  1 830 
they  ceased  to  occupy  their  old  camp  grounds  along  the  lower  Genesee.  In 
1826  John  De  Bay  and  Samuel  Willett,  two  men  who  accompanied  Clark  in 
his  famous  western  expedition  in  1806,  then  residents  of  Rochester,  purchased 
a  quantity  of  goods,  engaged  T.  J.  Jeffords,  ^  a  lad  of  thirteen,  as  assistant, 
and  made  the  tour  of  Indian  towns  in  Western  New  York.  The  first  camp 
visited  by  the  traders  was  located  on  the  ridge,  east  of  Irondequoit  bay,  and 

1  Mr.  Jeffords  is  well  known  to  the  citizens  of  Rochester,  having  held  several  positions  of  honor 
and  trust  in  the  county  of  Monroe.  The  pleasure  of  a  visit  to  his  pleasant  home  in  East  Rush  is 
greatly  enhanced  by  the  presence  of  his  aunt,  Mrs.  Rebekah  Price,  the  first  white  child  born  in  Rich- 
field, Otsego  county,  September  2d,  1791.  Mrs.  Price  has  lived  at  Rush  shice  l8o3.  Her  mind  is  as 
clear  and  active  as  that  of  many  people  at  sixty.  From  the  rich  store-house  of  her  memory  and  the 
recollections  of  Mr.  Jeffords,  many  interesting  facts  concerning  Indian  and  pioneer  times  have  been 
obtained. 


The  Genesee  Falls  Mill  Lot.  75 

consisted  largely  of  French  associates  of  the  Indians,  with  whom  they  were 
living.  The  second  town  was  on  or  near  the  present  farm  of  Judge  Edmond 
Kelly,  south  of  Irondequoit  landing.  The  traders  found  about  twenty  Indians 
at  the  Bell  farm  on  the  north  side  of  Honeoye  outlet,  and  one  hundred  and 
fifty  at  Cannawaugus.  Passing  through  York  "to  Wiscoy  above  Portage,  they 
struck  a  town  of  three  hundred  Senecas.  At  Red  House  station,  above  Sala- 
manca, they  found  four  hundred  and  fifty  Indians.  On  the  bank  of  Silver 
creek,  near  Captain  Camp's  residence,  one  hundred  Senecas  were  engaged  in 
a  council. 

In  his  late  work,  Weird  Legends  and  Traditions  of  the  Seneca  Indians, 
issued  in  May,  1884,  Rev.  J.  W.  Sanborn  presents  the  results  of  his  experience 
as  a  missionary  to  that  nation.  Touching  the  present  population  of  the  In- 
dians, chapter  XXIV.,  he  says  : — 

"In  Western  New  York  the  total  population  of  the  Senecas  is  3,014,  disposed  as 
follows:  On  the  Alleghany  reserve  914,  Cattaraugus  reserve  1,500,  Tonawanda  reserve 
600.  The  Indian  population,  including  all  the  tribes  in  the  state  of  New  York,  is  fully 
6,000." 


CHAPTER  XIII.  1 

The  Genesee  Falls  Mill  Lot  —  The  Triangle  —  Ebenezer  Allan's  One-Hundred-Acre  Tract  —  The 
Stone  Ridge  —  Peter  Sheffer  — Allan's  Mills  —  The  Mill  Stones  —  Jenuhshio  or  "  Indian"  Allan  — 
The  First  White  Settler  —  First  (Jrist  Mill  in  the  Genesee  Valley  — Allan's  Deed  to  lienjamin  liartou 
—  Close  of  Allan's  Career  —  His  Son  Claims  the  One-Hundred-Acre  Tract. 

WHEN  Oliver  Phelps  held  his  treaty  with  the  Indians  at  Buffalo,  in  1788, 
he  was  anxious  to  secure  all  their  lands  within  the  Massachusetts  pre- 
emption claim,  but  the  Indians  declined  to  part  with  any  land  west  of  the 
Genesee  river,  regarding  that  stream  as  a  natural  boundary  set  by  the  Great 
Spirit  between  the  white  and  red  men.  Unable  to  effect  his  object  by  honor- 
able purchase,  Mr.  Phelps  appealed  to  the  generosity  of  the  Indians  and  asked 
them  for  a  piece  of  land  west  of  the  Genesee,  large  enough  for  a  "mill  seat," 
representing  the  great  convenience  a  mill  would  be  to  them,  whereupon  the 
Indians  requested  him  to  state  the  amount  of  land  required  for  such  a  purpose. 
Mr.  Phelps  replied  that  a  piece  about  twelve  miles  wide,  extending  from  Canna- 
waugus (Avon)  on  the  west  side  of  the  Genesee  river  to  Lake  Ontario,  about 
twenty-eight  miles,  would  answer  his  purpose.  The  Indians  were  reluctant  to 
part  with  so  large  a  tract,  but,  upon  Mr.  Phelps's  assurance  that  it  was  all 

1  The  material  for  chapters  XIII.  and  XIV.  is  derived  from  the  journals  of  Charlevoix,  and  Maude, 
the  Life  of  Mary  femison,  Turner's  histories  of  the  Holland  Purchase,  and  Phelps  <V  Gorham  Pur- 
chase, Pioneer  Collections,  and  private  journal  of  the  writer  compiled  from  personal  researches. 

6 


']6  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

needed,  granted  his  request.  This  strip  of  land,  thus  acquired  by  Oliver 
Phelps,  contained  about  200,000  acres  and  was  designated  the  "Genesee  Falls 
mill  lot."  The  first  survey  of  the  mill  tract  was  made  by  Colonel  Hugh  Max- 
well, who  started  at  Cannawaugus,  ran  twelve  miles  west  of  the  Genesee  river, 
and  then  due  north. to  Lake  Ontario.  Whether  these  lines  were  run  with  a 
view  of  again  cheating  the  red  men,  or  were  made  through  mistake  is  not  cer- 
tain; but  the  Indians  bitterly  opposed  the  boundaries  thus  created,  and  Augus- 
tus Porter  ran  a  new  line  which  was  as  near  an  average  of  twelve  miles  from 
the  Genesee  as  a  straight '  line  would  permit.  In  after  surveys  west  of  this 
line,  the  tract  struck  out  of  Maxwell's  survey  by  Porter  was  termed  the 
"Triangle." 

Mr.  Phelps  fulfilled  his  agreement  with  the  Indians  by  a  contract  with  one 
Ebenezer  Allan,  who  agreed  to  erect  saw  and  grist  mills  at  the  Genesee  falls, 
the  consideration  being  the  conveyance  to  Allan  of  one  hundred  acres  of  land, 
commencing  at  the  center  of  the  mill  and  extending  an  equal  distance  up  and 
down  the  river,  then  west  far  enough  to  contain  the  hundred  acres  in  a  square 
form.  So  far  as  known  no  writings  ever  passed  between  Phelps  and  Allan,  but 
in  a  deed  for  twenty  thousand  acres  embracing  all  the  present  site  of  Rochester 
west  of  the  Genesee  river,  sold  to  Quartus  Pomeroy,  Justin  Ely,  Ebenezer 
Hunt  and  a  Mr.  Breck  in  1790,  an  exception  and  reservation  was  made  of 
"the  one  hundred  acres  previously  granted  to  Ebenezer  Allan." 

Allan  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  first  white  settler  in  the  Genesee  valley, 
other,  than  the  tory  Walker  at  the  mouth  of  the  Genesee,  and  first  white 
occupant  of  the  territory  now  covered  by  the  city  of  Rochester.  Whatever 
his  faults .  and,  vices,  this  fact  is.  patent,  and  from  his  first  appearance  as  an 
actual  resident  of  the  Genesee  valley  dates  the  era  of  permanent  settlement. 
No  history  of  Rochester  would  be  complete  that  omitted  mention  of  Ebenezer 
Allan  and  his  many  interests  in  Western  New  York.  From  the  mouth  of  the 
river  at  Lake  Ontario  to  the  lower  falls  at  Gardeau,  Allan-  inaugurated  im- 
provements which  have  found  their  full  development  only  during  the  present 
generation.  Nearly  a  century  has  elapsed  since  the  sounds  of  his  rasping 
mill- saw  first  echoed  across  our  beautiful  river  and  were  hushed  in  the  roar  of 
untamed  waters  dashing  over  their  rocky  bed  in  the  channel  below;  but  the 
memory  of  his  presence  here,  on  the  soil  we  love  so  well,  must  be  cherished 
while  the  Flower  city  has  an  existence. 

In  the  Revolutionary  war  Allan  was  a  tory  and  became  acquainted  with 
the  Senecas  during  their  incursions  against  American  settlements  on  the  Sus- 
quehanna. He  joined  the  Indians  in  their  predatory  battles,  and  excelled  all 
his  savage  associates  in  ferocious^cruelty.  Mary  Jemison,  the  "white  woman," 
says  thatduring  one  of  his  .scouting  expeditions  with  the  Indians  Allan  entered 
a  house  very  early  in  the  morning  where  he  found  a  man,  his  wife  and  one 
child,   in  bed.     The   man   instantly  sprang  on  the   floor  for  the  purpose   of 


Ebenezer  Allan.  ^^ 


defending  himself  and  family;  but  Allan  killed  him  at  one  blow,  cut  off  his 
head  and  threw  it  into  the  bed  with  the  terrified  woman ;  took  the  child  from 
its  mother's  breast  and  dashed  its  head  against  the  jamb,  leaving  the  unhappy- 
widow  and  mother  alone  with  her  murdered  family.  It  has  been  said  by  some 
that  after  killing  the  child  Allan  opened  the  fire  and  buried  it  under  the  coals 
and  ashes,  but  of  that  Mrs.  Jemison  was  uncertain;  though  she  thought 
Allan  repented  these  deeds  in  later  days.  He  accompanied  the  Senecas  to  the 
Genesee,  and  was  with  Walker  at  the  battle  of  Newtown.  When  the  Indians 
returned  to  their  desolated  homes,  after  the  departure  of  Sullivan's  army  in  the 
fall  of  1779,  Mrs.  Jemison  went  to  Gardeau  and  husked  corn  for  two  negroes 
who  lived  there.  In  the  spring  of  1780  she  built  a  house  on  the  flats,  and 
Allan  made  his  appearance  at  that  place  soon  after.  He  was  apparently  with- 
out any  business  to  support  him,  and  remained  at  the  white  woman's  house 
during  the  following  winter.  In  the  spring  Allan  commenced  working  the 
flats  and  continued  to  labor  there  until  the  peace  of  1783,  when  he  went  to 
Philadelphia,  and  in  a  short  time  returned  with  a  horse  loaded  with  dry  goods. 
Locating  on  the  present  site  of  Mount  Morris  he  built  a  house  and  became  a 
trader. 

Dissatisfied  with  the  treaty  of  peace,  the  British  and  Indians  on  the  frontier 
determined  to  continue  their  depredations  on  the  white  settlements  between 
the  Genesee  and  Albany.  The  Senecas  were  about  setting  out  on  an  expedi- 
tion when  Allan,  understanding  their  mode  of  warfare,  procured  a  belt  of 
wampum  and  carried  it  as  a  token  of  peace  either  to  the  commander  of  the 
nearest  American  military  post,  or  to  the  American  commissioner.  The  officer 
sent  word  to  the  Indians  that  the  wampum  was  cordially  accepted  and  a  con- 
tinuance of  peace  was  ardently  desired.  The  Indians  considered  the  wampum 
a  sacred  thing,  and  dared  not  go  against  the  import  of  its  meaning.  They 
immediately  buried  the  hatchet  as  respected  the  Americans,  and  smoked  the 
pipe  of  peace;  but  with  the  aid  of  the  British  resolved  to  punish  Allan  for 
presenting  the  wanipum  without  their  knowledge.  A  party  of  British  soldiers 
was  sent  from  Fort  Niagara  to  apprehend  Allan,  but  he  had  escaped  and  they 
confiscated  his  property  and  returned  to  the  fort.  A  second  attempt  to  capT 
ture  him  failed,  as  he  was  concealed  in  a  cave  about  Gafdeau  and  supplied 
with  food  by  the  white  woman ;  a  third  effort  was  successful  and  Allan  was 
taken  to  Montreal  or  Quebec  for  trial,  where  he  was  honorably  acquitted  of 
the  crime  charged,  that  is,  putting  too  sudden  a  stop  to  the  war.  Proceeding 
to  Philadelphia  he  purchased'on  credit  a  boat  load  of  goods,  which  he  brought 
by  water  to  Conhocton,  and  thence  to  Mount  Morris  on  horses  provided  by 
the  Senecas.  These  goods  were  exchanged  for  ginseng  and  furs,  which  Allan 
sold  at  Niagara.  Harvesting  a  large  crop  of  corn  on  his  own  land,  he  carried 
it  down  the  river  in  canoes  to  the  mouth  of  Allen's  creek,  then  called  Gin-is- 
*  a-ga  by  the  Indians,     There  he  built  a  house  and  cultivated  the  soil.     Butler's 


78  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

rangers  and  the  Indians  would  steal  cattle  from  the  Mohawk  and  the  Susque- 
hanna and  drive  them  to  the  Genesee,  where  Allan  kept  them  on  the  rich  flats 
until  in  prime  condition  and  then  sold  them  at  Fort  Niagara  and  in  Canada. 
Col.  Butler,  British  superintendent  of  Indian  affairs  at  Niagara,  supplied  Allan 
with  a  quantity  of  goods  for  the  Indian  trade,  and  the  latter  appropriated  the 
lot  to  his  own  use  and  profit. 

In  July,  1788,  as  previously  stated,  Allan  contracted  with  Mr.  Phelps  to 
erect  saw  and  grist  mills  on  the  one-hundred-acre  lot  at  the  Genesee  falls. 
During  the  following  summer  he  built  the  saw-mill  and  got  out  timber  for  a 
grist  mill.  At  that  period  the  river  bed  was  nearly  level  from  the  location  of 
the  present  aqueduct,  south  to  the  race  dam  at  the  jail,  and  the  Indian 
canoe  landing  was  on  the  present  site  of  W.  S.  Kimball's  tobacco  fac- 
tory. There  was  a  perpendicular  fall  fourteen  feet  high,  where  the  aqueduct  is 
located,  which  was  then  known  as  the  "upper  fall."  The  ledge,  of  Hmestone 
forming  this  fall  curved  northwest  to  the  corner  of  Basin  street,  where  it  again 
turned  west  and,  running  nearly  parallel  with  West  Main  street,  ended  abrupt- 
ly about  one  hundred  feet  west  of  Plymouth  avenue.  This  "stone  ridge"  was 
from  ten  to  fourteen  feet  in  height.  It  has  been  entirely  removed  above  the 
present  surface  of  the  ground,  but  a  portion  of  its  base  now  forms  the  west  side 
of  the  mill  race  under  Aqueduct  street.  All  land  east  of  this  ledge  to  the  pres- 
ent channel  of  the  river,  is  "filled  ground."  The  saw-mill  erected  by  Allan 
stood  upon  the  present  site  of  the  building  owned  by  Nehemiah  Osburn,  east 
of  Aqueduct  street.  The  first  lumber  sawed  was  used  to  roof  the  mill,  the 
second   was  for  the  grist  mill,  and  the  third  was  sold  to  Orange  Stone. 

In  the  fall  of  1789  Peter  Sheffer,  and  his  sons  Peter  and  Jacob,  came  upon  the 
Genesee  and  found  Allan  on  his  farm  near  the  mouth  of  Allen's  creek.  He 
had  a  comfortaJDle  log  house  on  his  land,  three  hundred  acres  of  which  had 
been  given  him  by  the  Indians,  and  one  hundred  and  seventy  purchased  of 
Phelps  and  Gorham.  Some  sixty  acres  of  flats  were  under  cultivation,  and 
twenty  then  in  wheat,  while  the  farm  was  stocked  with  horses,  cattle,  etc. 
Mr.  Sheffer  purchased  this  tract  for  $2.50  an  acre.  Turner  says  that  the  money 
realised  by  the  sale  of  this  farm  enabled  Allan  to  push  forward  his  mill  enter- 
prise, yet  he  also  states  that  the  Sheffers  did  not  reach  the  Genesee  until  De- 
cember. This  is  evidently  a  mistake,  as  the  deed  from  Allan  to  Peter  Sheffer 
is  dated  November  23d,  1789,  was  acknowledged  before  Timothy  Hosmer,  No- 
vember I2th,  1793,  and  recorded  on  page  178  book  2  in  the  county  clerk's 
office  at  Canandaigua,  March  39th,  1794.  Furthermore  William  Hencher 
stated  that  the  frame  of  Allan's  grist  mill  was  raised  November  12th  and 
13th.  That  was  at  an  earlier  date  than  Turner  supposed  Mr.  Sheffer  to  have 
been  in  this  region. 

Allan  sent  out  Indian  runners  to  invite  every  white  man  in  Genesee  valley 
to  the   raising  of  the  grist   mill.     The  party  numbered  just  fourteen,  all  told.  ' 


Erection  of  Allan's  Mill.  79 

The  mill  frame  was  heavy,  hewed  timber,  twenty-six  by  thirty  feet.  It  stood 
north  of  the  saw-mill  previously  erected,  upon  what  was  afterward  known  as 
the  "old  red  mill"  site,  on  "Mill  lot  number  2."  This  exact  spot  is  directly 
in  the  rear  of  numbers  39  and  41  East  Main  street,  half  way  between  Aque- 
duct and  Graves  street.  The  ground  is  now  occupied  by  M.  F.  Reynolds's 
paint  mill,  and  E.  R.  Andrews's  printing  establishment.  Allan  procured  rum 
from  a  trading  boat  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  liquor  was  "free  as  water." 
The  entire  party  camped  on  the  ground  the  first  night.  Lumber  for  the  mill 
floor  had  been  previously  .sawed  and  was  laid  on  the  13th,  all  hands  indulging 
in  a  dance  in  the  evening  and  then  sleeping  on  the  new  floor.  The  iron  for 
both  mills  was  brought  on  horseback  from  Conhocton  to  Allan's  farm,  and 
thence  down  the  river  in  canoes.  In  bringing  the  mill  irons  down,  a  Dutch- 
man named  Andrews,  having  them  in  charge,  went  over  the  upper  fall  and  was 
drowned.  The  iron  was  recovered,  but  Andrews  was  never  seen  again,  and 
Allan  was  credited  with  his  murder. 

In  August,  1800,  John  Maude,  ah  English  traveler,  passed  through  the 
lower  Genesee  country  and  in  his  description  of  the  Allan  grist  mill  says  :  "It 
contains  but  one  pair  of  stones  made  from  the  stone  of  a  neighboring  quarry, 
which  is  found  to  be  very  suitable  for  this  purpose."  This  curious  statement . 
of  Maude's  has  been  repeated  by  every  historian  writing  on  this  subject,  so  far 
.as  we  are  aware,  to  the  present  day.  The  "quarry"  mentioned  has  remained 
undiscovered  thus  far  (1884),  and  Mr.  Maude's  informant  led  him  into  other 
and  more  serious  misstatements,  one  of  which  was  that  said  informant  "remem- 
bered the  two  steps  of  the  lower  falls  (some  twenty  rods  apart)  as  united  in  one 
fall.  A  reference  to  Charlevoix's  description  of  the  Genesee  in  1721  shows 
that  the  lower  falls  were  then  identically  the  same  as  at  present,  as  regards  dis- 
tance. The  run  of  stone  used  in  Allan's  grist  mill  were  made  from  boulders 
on  the  surface  of  the  ground  near  the  mill.  With  the  assistance  of  Indians, 
Allan  himself  cut  and  dressed  both  stones.  He  was  a  blacksmith,  had  a  forge 
near  his  house  at  Allen's  creek,  and  also  one  at  the  grist  mill,  where  he  fitted 
the  mill  irons  with  his  own  hands.  Allan  often  shod  his  own  horses  and  re- 
paired guns  for  himself  and  the  Indians. 

With  all  his  faults,  Ebenezer  Allan  was  riot  lazy.  He  was  imposing  in  ap- 
pearance, and  though  usually  mild  in  manner  had  a  bold,  determined  look  and 
the  faculty  of  controlling  all  about  him.  He  usually  had  from  ten  to  thirty  In- 
dians at  work,  and  in  return  supplied  them  and  their  families  with  everything 
required,  including  whisky.  Wherever  Allan  went,  a  company  of  Indian  satel- 
lites attended  to  do  his  bidding.  During  his  stay  at  the  grist  mill  the  Senecas 
encamped  in  the  vicinity  of  Exchange  street,  and  at  the  Indian  spring.  He  was 
an  adopted  member  of  the  Seneca  nation,  and  was  known  to  the  red  men  as 
Jen-uh-shi-o.  From  his  intimate  associations  with  the  natives  he  was  called 
"  Indian  Allan  "by  the  whites,  who  greatly  disliked  him.     About  the  time  of 


8o  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

his  first  appearance  on  the  Genesee,  Allan  married  a  Seneca  squaw  named 
Kyen-da-nent.  Her  English  name  was  Sally.  They  had  two  daughters, 
Mary,  born  in  1780,  and  Chloe,  born  March  3d,  1782.  While  at  the  falls  in 
1 789  a  man  named  Chapman  stopped  with  his  family  on  their  way  to  Canada, 
and  Allan  proposed  to  the  daughter  Lucy,  to  whom  he  was  married  by  a 
sham  magistrate.  Chapman  went  on  his  journey  to  Canada  and  Lucy  was 
taken  back  to  Allan's  farm,  where  she  found  his  squaw  wife  and  children. 
About  this  time  Allan  beat  a  boy  to  death,  and  pushed  an  old  man  into  the 
Genesee,  intending  to  drown  him  and  marry  his  wife.  The  man  got  out  of  the 
river,  but  died  next  day,  and  his  murderer  added*the  widow  to  his  harem.  He 
also  married  the  half-breed  daughter  of  a  negro  named  Captain  Sunfish,  and 
robbed  the  old  man  of  his  money.  On  his  removal  to  Mount  Morris  Allan 
married  one  Millie  McGregor,  daughter  of  an  English  tory,  and  is  said  to  have 
had  half  a  dozen  other  wives  during  his  residence  in  the  Genesee  valley. 
Lucy  Allan  had  one  child,  Millie  six,  and  Sally  two.  Upon  the  completion  of 
the  mill  Allan  moved  into  a  room  in  the  building,  and  so  far  as  known  his  was 
the  first  white  family  that  resided  on  the  site  of  Rochester.  Poor  as  it  was,  the 
grist  mill  proved  a  benefit  to  the  few  settlers  in  the  sparsely  inhabited  region. 
People  came  from  Lima,  Avon,  Victor,  Irondequoit  and  other  towns  to  get  a 
grist  or  procure  a  few  boards  from  the  saw-mill. 

It  has  been  frequently  stated  that  Allan's  was  the  first  grist  mill  in  the  Gen- 
esee valley,  but  this  statement  is  incorrect.  During  the  winter  of  1788-9  John 
and  James  Markham  built  on  a  little  stream  which  enters  the  Genesee  river 
about  two  miles  north  of  Avon.  It  was  a  small  log  building,  and  all  the  lum- 
ber used  in  its  construction  was  hewed  out  by  hand.  The  curbs  were  hewed 
plank,  the  spindle  made  by  straightening  out  a  section  of  a  cart  tire,  and  the 
stones  roughly  cut  from  native  rock.  There  was  no  bolt,  the  substitutes  being 
hand  sieves  made  of  splints.  The  mill  was  a  rude,  primitive  concern,  but  it 
mashed  corn  better  than  the  wooden  mortar  and  pestle  then  used  by  early  set- 
tlers, and  during  the  year  or  two  of  its  existence  was  highly  valued. 

Allan's  residence  here  was  temporary.  In  1790  he  bought  a  stock  of  goods 
in  Philadelphia  and  reopened  his  trading  station  at  Mount  Morris,  leaving  his 
brother-in-law,  Christopher  Dugan,  in  charge  of  the  mills.  Just  when  Allan 
moved  his  family  to  Mount  Morris  is  not  known,  but  it  is  probable  that  they 
left  the  mills  early  in  1792,  soon  after  the  sale  of  the  one-hundred-acre  lot  to 
Mr.  Barton.  The  deed,  or  more  properly,  assignment  of  his  interest,  given  by 
Ebenezer  Allan  to  Benjamin  Barton,  is  the  foundation  of  all  titles  to  real  estate 
within  the  so-called  "one-hundred-acre  tract,"  the  boundaries  of  which  may 
be  crudely  described  as  running  from  the  jail  on  the  bank  of  the  Genesee 
about  four  hundred  feet  south  of  Court  street,  west  to  a  point  near  Caledonia 
avenue  and  Spring  street,  thence  north  to  an  angle  about  one  hundred  feet 
northwest  of  the  corner  of  Frank  and  Center  streets,  and  due  east  to  the  river 


Deed  of  the  One-Hundred- Acre  Tract.  8i 

directly  east  of  Market  street.     A  fac-simile  copy  of  this  venerable  document 
is  shown  on  the  next  page.     Its  subject  matter  is  as  follows :  — 

"Articles  of  agreement  made  this  27th  day  of  March  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  one 
thousand  Seven  Hundred  and  Ninety-two,  between  Ebenezer  AUin  and  Benjamin  Bar- 
ton, witnesseth  that  for  and  in  Consideration  of  Five  Hundred  pounds  New  York  Cur- 
rency received  by  the  said  Ebenezer  AUin  of  Benjamin  Barton,  the  said  Ebenezer  AUin 
doth  seU'aU  that  Tract  of  .land  containing  one  hundred  acres  lying  on  the  west  side  of  the 
Genesee  river  in  the  County  of  Ontario  State  of  New  York  Bounded  East  on  the  Genesee 
river  so  as  to  take  in  the  Mills  lately  Built  by  the  said  AUin.  From  thence  to  run  North- 
erly from  said  Mills  Sixty  three  rods  also  southerly  of  said  Mills  Sixty  three  rods  from 
thence  Turning  westerly  so  as  to  make  one  hundred  acres  strict  measure.  And  the  said 
Ebenezer  AUin  doth  hereby  impower  the  said  Benjamin  Barton  to  apply  to  the  Honr'd 
Oliver  Phelps  and  Nathaniel  Gorham  or  Either  of  them  for  a  good  and  sufficient  deed  of 
conveyance  to  be  by  them  — or  Either  of  them  executed  to  the  said  Benjamin  Barton, 
his  Heirs  or  assigns  for  said  Tract  of  land  and  the  said  Ebenezer  AUin  doth  hereby 
request  and  Impower  the  said  Oliver  Phelps  or  Nathaniel  Gorham  to  scale  and  Deliver 
such  Deed  to  the  said  Benjamin  Barton  his  Heirs  or  assigns,  and  the  said  Ebpnezer 
AUin  doth  hereby  exonerate  and  discharge  the  said  Oliver  Phelps  and  Nathaniel  Gorham 
in  consequence  of  their  executing  the  deed  ass'd,  from  all  and  Every  agreement  or  Instru- 
ment which  might  or  may  have  existed  Respecting  the  conveyance  of  said  Tract  of  land 
from  them  the  said  Oliver  Phelps  and  Nathaniel  Gorham  or  Either  of  them  to  the  said 
Ebenezer  AUin,  in  Witness  whereof  the  said  Ebenezer  AUin  hath  hereunto  set  his  Hand 
and  Seal  the  day  and  year  above  written. 
"  Sealed  and  delivered 

in  the  presense  off  "  E.  Allan  [seal.] 

Gertrude  G  Ogden 

John  Farhn  " 

"  Reed,  of  Benjamin  Barton  a  Deed  for  Aliens  Mills  on  the  Genesee  River,  in 
settling  therefor  I  am  to  settle  the  Bond  for  j£s°°  which  he  gave  Ebenezer  Allen  for 
which  I  was  security.     Dec.  24th  1793.  Saml.  Ogden." 


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84  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

This  deed  has  a  curious  history.  Its  existence  appears  to  have  passed  from 
public  memory  until  Orsamus  Turner  began  the  collection  of  material  for  his 
grand  histories  of  the  Phelps  &  Gorham  and  Holland  purchases.  During  a 
visit  to  the  family  residence  of  Brandt,  the  noted  Mohawk  sachem,  at  Brantford, 
Ontario,  Mr.  Turner  found  the  Allan  deed,  among  other  papers  formerly  be- 
longing to  Brandt,  stored  in  a  barrel  in  the  garret.  No  information  could  be 
obtained  regarding  the  time  or  manner  in  which  Brandt  came  into  possession 
of  the  document,  which  was  readily  given  to  Mr.  Turner.  In  June,  1849,  he 
requested  D.  M.  Dewey  to  present  the  old  deed  to  the  Rochester  Athenaeum 
for  safe  keeping.  It  passed  into  the  possession  of  M.  F.  Reynolds,  with  other 
effects  of  the  Athenaeum,  and  is  now  carefully  treasured  in  the  Reynolds  library. 

Soon  after  his  return  to  Mount  Morris,  Allan  induced  the  Seneca  chiefs  to 
give  a  tract  of  land  four  miles  square,  where  he  then  resided,  to  his  half-breed 
daughters  for  their  support  and  education. ^  He  artfully  framed  the  convey- 
ance so  that  he  could  appropriate  the  land  to  his  own  use,  but,  in  accordance 
with  its  provisions,  sent  his  Indian  girls  to  a  school  at  Trenton,  New  Jersey ; 
also  sending  his  white  son  to  Philadelphia,  to  obtain  an  English  education.  In 
1792  Allan  built  a  saw-mill  on  the  outlet  of  Silver  lake,  at  Smoky  hollow, 
near  the  Genesee  river.  He  sold  the  land  deeded  to  his  girls  to  Robert  Mor- 
ris, and  removed  them  from  school.  In  1797  Allan  disposed  of  all  his  prop- 
erty in  the:  Genesee  valley  and  removed  to  Delawaretown,  in  Upper  Canada, 
leaving  his  Squaw  wife  behind.  He  also  arranged  with  two  men  to  drown  his 
white  wife,  Millie.  The  men  brought  her  down  the  river  in  a  canoe  and  pur- 
posely ran  the  boat  over  the  upper  fall,  but  Millie  escaped  to  the  shore  and 
followed  Allan  to  Canada.  Governor  Simcoe  granted  him  three  thousand  acres 
of  land  upon  condition  of  certain  improvements,  and  Allan  became  rich.  In 
1 806  his  white  neighbors  combined  against  him,  and  he  was  repeatedly  arrested 
upon  charges  of  forgery,  larceny,  etc.,  but  was  invariably  acquitted.  Losses 
of  property  followed,  and  about  18 14  Allan  died  in  greatly  reduced  circum- 
stances, willing  all  his  interest  to  MiUie  and  her  children.  About  1820  a  son 
of  Ebenezer  Allan  came  to  Rochester  and  set  up  a  claim  for  his  mother's  right 
of  dower  in  the  One-hundred-acre  tract.  It  will  be  seen,  by  reference  to  the 
conveyance  given  to  Barton,  that  Allan's  name  alone  is  attached  to  the  instru- 
ment. A  compromise  was  effected  with  parties  holding  titles  in  the  property, 
but  our  informant,  the  venerable  Mrs.  Abelard  Reynolds,  has  too  indistinct  a 
remembrance  of  the  affair  to  aid  us  with  particulars. 

1  This  deed  was  recorded  in  the  office  of  the  clerk  of  Ontario  county,  at  Canandaigua,  August  rst, 
1791,  in  book  of  deeds  number  i,  page  134.  It  was  signed  by  eighteen  sachems,  chiefs  and  warriors 
of  the  Seneca  nation,  So-go-u-a-ta,  better  known  as  "  Red  Jacket,"  being  of  tlie  number. 


Christopher  Dugan — Josiah  Fish.  85 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

Christopher  Dugan  —  Colonel  Fish  —  The  First  Dwelling-House  —  Early  Settlers  —  Maude's  Visit 
to  Genesee  F'alls  in  1800— Destruction  of  Hie  Allan  Mills  — The  Old  Mill  Stones  —  Rochester,  Fitz- 
hugh  and  Carroll  Purchase  the  One-hundred-acre  Tract  —  Early  Towns  and  Pioneers. 

MR.  BARTON  sold  the  One-hundred-acre  tract  to  Samuel  B.  Ogden,  De- 
cember 24th,  1793.  The  latter  transferred  the  property  to  Charles  Will- 
iamson, of  Bath,  agent  for  Sir  William  Pulteney,  and  it  thus  became  a  part  of  the 
Pultcncy  estate.  Upon  his  removal  to  Mount  Morris,  Allan  placed  his  brother- 
in-law,  Christopher  Dugan,  in  charge  of  the  mills,  and  Dugan's  was  the  second 
family  on  the  site  of  Rochester.  Allan's  sister  is  said  to  have  been  a  lady  of 
education  and  culture,  who  married  an  old  British  soldier,  and  followed  her 
wayward  brother  to  the  wilderness,  where  she  clung  to  him  through  all  his 
wickedness  for  years.  She  became  housekeeper  for  her  brother,  and  with  her 
husband  formed  a  part  of  Allan's  family  until  the  latter  left  the  mills.  August 
9th,  1794,  Dugan  wrote  to  Colonel  Williamson,  saying:  — 

"The  mill  erected  by  Ebenezer  Allan,  which  I  am  informed  you  have  purchased,  is 
in  a  bad  situation,  much  out  of  repair,  and,  unless  attention  is  paid  to  it,  it  will  soon 
take  its  voyage  to  the  lake.  I  have  resided  here  for  several  years,  and  kept  watch  and 
ward  without  fee  or  recompense ;  and  am  pleased  to  hear  that  it  has  fallen  into  the 
hands  of  a  gentleman  who  is  able  to  repair  it,  and  whose  character  is  such  that  I  firmly 
believe  he  will  not  allow  an  old  man  to  suffer  without  reward  for  his  exertions.  I  wish 
to  have  you  come  or  send  some  one  to  take  care  of  the  mill,  as  my  situation  is  such  as 
makes  it  necessary  soon  to  remove." 

Mr.  Dugan  left  the  mill  soon  after,  and  .settled  on  his  farm  near  Dugan's 
creek.  At  the  time  of  Aaron  Burr's  visit  to  the  Genesee  falls,  the  following 
summer,  not  a  soul  could  be  found  about  this  vicinity. 

In  1795  Colonel  Josiah  Fish  purchased  a  farm  at  the  mouth  of  Black  creek 
and  with  the  aid  of  his  son  Lebbeus  commenced  improvements.  They  came 
down  to  the  falls  late  in  the  season  and  boarded  with  a  man  named  Sprague, 
whom  they  found  in  charge  of  the  Allan  mills.  The  fare  consisted  of  "  raccoon 
for  breakfast,  dinner  and  supper,  with  no  vegetables.  On  extra  occasions 
cakes,  fried  in  raccoon  oil,  were  added."  It  would  thus  appear  that  Sprague 
was  the  third  resident  of  Rochester,  though  no  mention  was  made  of  his  family. 
In  1796  Mr.  Williamson  expended  about  five  hundred  dollars  in  improvements 
at  the  falls,  and  engaged  Colonel  Fish  to  take  charge  of  the  mills.  The  latter 
moved  his  family,  consisting  of  his  wife,  a  son  and  one  daughter,  here  in  No- 
vember. They  did  their  cooking  in  a  board  shanty  which  was  built  against 
the  stone  ledge  at  the  present  northwest  corner  of  Basin  and  Aqueduct  streets, 
and  resided  in  the  grist  mill,  which  was  minus  glass  windows  and  other  com- 
forts. The  next  fall  Colonel  Fish  put  up  three  sides  of  a  log  house  against  the 
stone  ledge,  which  constituted  the  back  wall,  in  which  a  chimney-place  was 
excavated.     Turner  says  this  house  stood  on  the  site  of  the  old  red  mill  near 


86  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Child's  basin.      It  has  been  assumed  that  he  was  in  error,  but  one  fact  appears 
to  be  overlooked,  or  is  unknown  to  certain  writers;   there  were,  two  "Red" 
mills,  the  second  one  occupying  the  present  (1884)  site  of  the  Arcade  mills  on 
the  east  side  of  Aqueduct  street.     The  ruins  of  a  log  house  remained  there  in 
1812,  and  Turner  had  reference  to  this  spot.     Colonel  Fish  was  the  fourth  res- 
ident of  Rochester,  and  the  house  erected  by  him  was  the  first  building  occu- 
pied exclusively  as  a  dwelling,  within  the  present  bounds  of  the  Flower  city. 
When  Thomas  Morris  escorted  Louis  Philippe,  afterward  king  of  France,  and 
his  brothers,  the  Duke  de  Montpensier  and  Count  Beaujolais,  from  Canandaigua 
to  view  the  Genesee  falls  in  1797,  they  entirely  overlooked  the  humble  dwell- 
ing at  the  mills;  but  in   1800  a  party  bound  up  the  lake,  of  which  William 
Nixon  Loomis  was  one,  were  overtaken  by  a  storm  off  the  mouth  of  the  Gen- 
esee and,  running  into  the  river  for  safety,  came  up  to  view  the  falls.     "Upon 
the  present  site  of  Rochester  they  came  to  a  solitary  log  cabin,  knocked  and 
were  bid  to  come  in.      Upon  entering  they  found  that  in  the  absence  of  the 
family  a  parrot  had  been  the  hospitable  Representative.    The  family  (Col.  Fish's) 
returned  soon,  however,  and   gave-  them  a  supper  of  potatoes  and  milk."      In 
1798-9  Jeremiah  Olmstead  moved  to  the  falls  and  lived  in  a  hut  south  of  the 
House  of  Refuge.     This  shanty  had  been  erected  by  one  Farewell,  who  re- 
mained there  but  a  short  time.     He  was  the  fifth  resident  of  Rochester  and 
Olmstead  the  sixth,  so  far  as  is  known,  but  future  researches  may  change  the 
order  of  succession.     Turner  says  the  clearing  made  by  Olmstead  "was  the 
first  blow  struck  in  the  way  of  improvement,  other  than  the  Allan  mill,  on  all 
the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Rochester."     In  1800  Oliver  Culver  purchased 
a  farm  on  what  is  now  East  avenue  and  the  Culver  road,  cleared  seven  acres 
and  sowed  it  to  wheat.     Suspecting  that  his  title  was  imperfect,  Mr.  Culver  left 
the  farm  until  1805,  when  he  returned  and  became  a  permanent  settler.     He 
was  the  seventh  resident  within  the  present  boundaries  of  Rochester.     The 
same  year  Wheelock  Wood,  of  Lima,  built  a  saw-mill  on  Deep  hollow,  and 
operated  it  one  year,  but  the  terrible  fever  and  ague,  the  enemy  of  all  early 
settlers,  prostrated  his  workmen  and  forced  Mr.  Wood  to  abandon  the  place. 
He  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  eighth  resident.      In  the  journal  of  his  visit  to 
Western  New  York  in  1800,  John  Maude  says  that  on  August  19th  he  arrived 
at  "Genesee  Mills." 

"As  Colonel  Fish,  the  miller,  had  not  those  accommodations  which  I  expected,  not 
even  a  stable,  I  was  obliged  to  proceed  to  Mr.  King's  at  the  Genesee  landing,  where  I 
got  a  good  breakfast  on  wild  pigeons,  etc.  Mr.  King  is  the  only  respectable  settler  in 
this  township  (number  i  short  range)  in  which  there  are  at  present  twelve  families,  four 

of  them  at  the  landing Further  improvements  are  much  checked  in 

consequence  of  the  titles  to  the  lands  here  being  in  dispute.  Mr.  Phelps  sold  three 
thousand  acres  in  this  neighborhood  to  Mr.  Granger  for  ten  thousand  dollars,  secured 
by  mortgage  on  the  land.  Granger  died  soon  after  his  removal  here,  and,  having  sold 
part  of  the  land,  the  residue  would  not  clear  the  mortgage,  which  prevented  his  heirs 
administering  the  estate.     Phelps  foreclosed  the  mortgage,  and  entered  on  possession, 


Early  Mills.  '      87 


even  on  that  part  which  had  been  sold  and  improved.  Some  settlers,  in  consequence, 
quitted   their  farms;  others  repaid  the  purchase  money;  and  others  are  endeavoring 

to  make  some  accommodation  with   Mr.  Phelps The  landing  is  four  miles 

from  the  mouth  of  the  river,  where  two  log  huts  are  built  at  the  entrance  to  Lake  On- 
tario  At  noon  returned  in  company  with  Colonel  Fish.     Had  a  fine  view 

from  the  top  of  the  bank,  of  the  lower  falls,  of  which  I  took  a  sketch.  The  lower  fall 
is  fifty-four  feet,  the  middle  fall  ninety-six  feet,  and  the  upper  fall  must  be  something 

under  thirty  feet '  .     In  a  few  minutes  I  joined  Colonel  Fish  at  the  Mills.     .  . 

.  .  .  The  grist  mill  is  very  ill- constructed ;  it  is  too  near  the  bed  of  the  river,  and  the 
race  so  improperly  managed  that  it  is  dry  in  summer  and  liable  to  back-water  in  winter. 
This  mill  is  not  at  present  able  to  grind  more  than  ten  bushels  a  day;  were  it  in  good 
order  it  would  grind  sixty.  It  is  now  almost  entirely  neglected,  in  consequence  of  be- 
ing so  much  out  of  repair.     The  saw-mill  is  already  ruined." 

In  1802  Colonel  Fish  returned  to  his  farm  at  Black  creek,  and  after  his  de- 
parture the  Allan  grist  mill  had  no  regular  miller.  It  was  nominally  in  charge 
of  a  Mr.  King,  who  came  from  Hanford's  landing  and  lived  in  a  shanty  just 
west  of  the  middle  falls.  Occasionally  one  or  two  settlers  would  make  neces- 
sary repairs  and  grind  their  own  grists  free  of  cost.  In  1804  Noah  Smith  built 
a  mill  for  Tryon  and  Adams  on  Allen's  creek  in  Brighton.  This  mill  was 
located  on  the  west  side  of  the  stream,  about  twenty  rods  north  of  the  present 
New  York  Central  railway  embankment.  Oliver  Griswold  of  Irondequoit  land- 
ing purchased  the  old  Allan  mill  stones  and  irons  for  Tryon  and  Adams,  who 
placed  them  in  the  new  mill.  In  1803  the  Allan  saw-mill  was  swept  away  in 
a  freshet  which  broke  over  the  race  gate  and  undermined  the  building,  nearly 
carrying  the  grist  mill  also.  This  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1807.  In  1806  Sol- 
omon Fuller  built  a  small  mill  on  Irondequoit  creek,  and  the  Allan  stones  and 
irons  are  said  to  have  been  transferred  to  that  mill.  They  passed  into  the  pos- 
session of  Lyman  Goff,  who  sold  them  to  Stephen  Chubb.  The  latter  used  them 
in  a  horse-mill  in  Henrietta.  In  1825  Isaac  Barnes  and  Captain  Enos  Blos- 
som built  a  grist  mill  on  the  west  bank  of  Allen's  creek  about  thirty  rods  north 
of  East  avenue.  These  gentlemen  bought  the  Allan  stones  of  Mr.  Chubb, 
and  placed  them  in  their  mill,  with  one  other  run  of  stone.  The  mill  was  re- 
built in  1837,  and  the  old  stones  were  taken  to  Mr.  Barnes's  residence,  where 
they  were  used  as  door  steps  for  many  years.  In  1859  Lorenzo  D.  Ely  and 
Oliver  Culver  reported  to  the  Junior  Pioneer  association  of  Rochester,  that  the 
Allan  mill  stones  were  in  the  possession  of  Isaac  Barnes,  and  his  son  Charles 
Milo  Barnes,  millers  at  Allen's  creek,  and  suggested  the  propriety  of  securing 
these  valuable  historical  relics  of  Rochester's  first  settler.  Oliver  Culver,  Ly- 
man Goff  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Isaac  Barnes  fully  identified  the  stones  as  the  origi- 
nal run  made  and  used  by  Indian  Allan.  They  consisted  of  the  bed  and  run- 
ning stone,  and  were  too  large  and  heavy  to  place  in  an  ordinary  room.  A 
petition  was  presented  to  the  board  of  supervisors  of  Monroe  county,  in  Decem- 
ber, and  that  body  passed  a  resolution  that  "the  Junior  Pioneer  society  have 
leave  to  place  in  the  rear  of  the  court-house  a  pair  of  mill  stones  said  to  have 


88  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

been  the  first  ever  used  in  this  county."  ^  In  order  to  defray  the  expense  of 
removing  the  stones  to  Rochester,  a  subscription  list  was  circulated  by  Jarvis 
M.  Hatch  between  the  4th  and  1 5th  of  February,'  i860.  It  was  signed  by  S.  W. 
D.  Moore,  Samuel  Richardson,  Charles  J.  Hill,  Thomas  Kempshall,  L.  A. 
Ward,  Joseph  Field,  William  Pitkin,  John  B.  Elwood,  N.  E.  Paine,  Rufus 
Keeler,  Charles  H.  Clark,  John  Williams,  E.  F.  Smith,  Isaac  Hills,  Jonathan 
Child,  sr.,  Hamlin  Stilwell,  Maltby  Strong,  C.  J.  Hayden  and  Jacob  Gould, 
each  of  whom  agreed  to  pay  one  dollar.  The  Messrs.  Barnes  generously  do- 
nated the  mill  stones  to  the  Junior  Pioneer  association,  and  Charles  M.  Barnes 
brought  them  to  the  city.  A  committee  from  the  association  received  and 
placed  the  stones  in  the  rear  of  the  court-house;  At  the  building  of  the  new 
city  hall,  south  of  the  court-house,  the  old  mill  stones  were  used  as  found 
ations  for  two  lamp-posts  at  the  entrance  to  the  city  hall.  It  would  be  a  fit- 
ting and  proper  action  for  our  city  authorities  to  remove  the  valuable  relics  to 
a  permanent  and  secure  place  where  they  will  be  preserved, for  future  gener- 
ations. 

In  1802  Nathaniel  Rochester,  William  Fitzhugh  and  Charles  Carroll  bought 
the  One-hundred-acre  lot  of  Sir  William  Pulteney's  agent,  for  seventeen  and 
one  half  dollars  per  acre.  Having  greater  interests  elsewhere,  the  proprietors 
took  no  steps  to  improve  or  settle  the  tract  until  18 10.  At  the  date  of  purchase 
the  special  interest  of  new  settlers  in  this  vicinity  was  centered  in  Tryon's  Town, 
south  of  Irondequoit  landing,  and  King's  (now  Hanford's)  landing,  near  the 
lower  falls.  It  was  thought  by  shi-ewd  men  that  one  of  those  places  would 
in  time  become  the  great  business,  center  .  of  the  lower  Genesee  country. 
James  Wadsworth  succeeded  to  the  agency  of  the  Pulteney  estate  and,  becom- 
ing part  owner  of  a  tract  on  the  west  side  of  the  river  near  the  Rapids,  made 
strenuous  efforts  to  found  a  city  there.  The  place  was  named  "Castle  Town" 
or  Castleton,  in  honor  of  a  resident.  Colonel  Isaac  Castle.  A  tavern,  store  and 
other  business  was  started,  and  several  people  located  there,  but  the  "city"  was 
a  failure.  The  hundred-acre  tract  was  then  termed  "  Fall  Town,"  and  the  su- 
perior water  privileges  of  this  immediate  vicinity,  combined  with  other  advan- 
tages of  the  location,  eventually  drew  the  strength  of  public  opinion  in  its  favor, 
while  the  indomitable  spirit  and  enterprise  of  its  pioneer  inhabitants  laid  the 
foundation  for  our  present  magnificent  city.  Elijah  Rose  settled  on  the 
east  side  of  the  river  in  1806,  and  built  a  log  house  on  Mount  Hope  avenue, 
(the  present  street  number  of  which  is  281),  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet 
south  of  the  present  residence  of  George  EUwanger.  This  house  was  subse- 
quently occupied  by  several  families — those  of  Jacob  Miller,  Daniel  Harris,  John 
Nutt   and   other  pioneers.     The  writer  has  often  heard  his  aged    grandmother 

1  For  the  verification  of  this  fact,  and  much  valuable  information  regarding  the  period  of  early  set- 
tlement, we  are  indebted  to  Donald  McNaughton,  whose  father,  John  McNaughton,  was  one  of  the 
first  pioneers  west  of  the  Genesee. 


Early  Pioneers.  89 


and  her  sister,  the  late  Mrs.  Lucretia  Lee,  relate  their  experience  in  fighting  a 
lot  of  wolves  away  from  the  blanket  door  of  this  same  log  house,  about  the  time 
of  the  British  invasion  at  Charlotte,  when  the  men  were  all  absent. 

In  1807  Charles  Harford  erected  a  block-house  near  the  great  falls.  It  is 
variously  located  on  State  street  near  Vincent  place,  and  at  the  intersection  of 
Center  and  Mill  streets.  It  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  well-coxistructed 
dwelling  in  the  city  limits  on  the  west  side  of  the  Genesee.  The  next  year 
Mr.  Harford  built  a  saw- mill,  and  completed  a  grist  mill  on  the  present  loca- 
tion of  the  Phoenix  mill.  His  mill-race  was  the  beginning  of  Brown's  race. 
In  1807-8  Lyman  Shumway  put  up  a  shanty  near  the  falls  on  the  east  side  of 
the  river;  and  Samuel  Ware  came  in  about  1 808-9.  I"  1788-9  General 
Hyde,  Prosper  Polly,  Enos  Stone,  Job  Gilbert,  and  Joseph  Chaplin,  of  Lenox, 
Massachusetts,  and  John  Lusk,  of  Berkshire,  bought  a  large  tract  east  of  the 
Genesee,  of  Phelps  and  Gorham.  In  the  summer  of  1789  Mr.  Lusk  settled 
his  land  at  the  head  of  Irondequoit  bay,  and  in  the  spring  of  1790  brought 
out  his  family.  Enos  Stone's  son,  Orange,  Joel  Scudder,  Chauncey  and  Calvin 
Hyde,  and  others  having  families,  followed  soon  after.  Orange  Stone  located 
half  a  mile  east  of  Brighton  village  on  the  Pittsford  road,  near  the  "  big  rock 
and  tree,"  and  opened  a  tavern.  His  brother,  Enos  Stone,  jr.,  with  other 
young  men,  drove  the  stock  of  the  new  settlers  to  Brighton,  but  continued  to 
reside  at  Lenox  for  a  number  of  years.  He  made  several  visits  to  the  Genesee, 
and  became  an  agent  for  the  sale  of  lands.  In  compensation  for  his  services 
he  received  one  hundred  and  fifty  acres  on  the  east  bank  of  the  river,  opposite 
the  hundred-acre  tract  on  the  west  side.  Enos  Stone,  sr.,  did  not  make  Roch- 
ester his  permanent  home  until  18 16,  but  in  1808  he  erected  a  saw-mill  for  his 
son,  about  one  hundred  feet  north  of  the  east  end  of  the  present  aqueduct.  A 
freshet  afterward  carried  the  mill  away.  Early  in  March,  18 10,  Jacob  Miller 
arrived  at  the  Genesee,  and  was  temporarily  domiciled  in  the  log-house  built 
by  Mr.  Rose.  As  soon  as  his  house  could  be  made  ready,  Mr.  Miller  settled 
on  his  farm  directly  west  of  the  Monroe  county  penitentiary,  and  several  of 
his  children  soon  after  located  in  that  neighborhood.  Enos  Stone,  jr.,  also 
arrived  in  March,  with  his  family  and  effects.  Mr.  Stone  made  his  home  at 
the  house  of  his  brother  Orange,  for  several  jveeks,  and  during  that  period  a 
son,  James  S.  Stone,  was  born  May  4th,  18 10.  The  latter  now  resides  on  his 
farm  in  the  town  of  Greece,  hale  and  hearty  at  the  age  of  seventy-four. 

While  staying  with  his  brother,  Enos  Stone  erected  a  log-house  east  of  the 
saw-mill,  which  was  rebuilt.  In  October  he  put  up  a  small  frame  building 
sixteen  by  twenty  feet.  The  cutting  of  the  timber,  raising  and  inclosing 
occupied  three  days,  and  Mrs.  Stone,  a  hired  man  and  a  hired  girl  assisted. 
The  site  of  this  building  was  established  by  Schuyler  Moses  and  Edwin  Scran- 
tom  several  years  ago.  It  was  on  the  east  side  of  South  St.  Paul  street, 
directly  east  of  the  terminus  of  the  aqueduct,  and  was  the  first  framed  dwell- 


90  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

ing  in  Rochester.  It  was  removed  to  number  53  Elm  street,  where  the 
original  timber  frame  is,  covered  with  modern  boards,  and  the  building  used  as 
a  wood-shed. 


CHAPTER  XV. 


the  ROCHESTER  POST-OFFICE. 


PRIOR  to  1 81 2  the  main  route  from  Canandaigua  to  the  Niagara  frontier 
was  by  the  "Buffalo  road,"  which  ran  through  Bloomfield,  Avon,  Cale- 
donia and  other  towns  westward.  In  all  that  portion  of  New  York  between 
this  road  and .  Lake  Ontario  not  a  single  post-office  or  mail  route  had  been 
established.  In  the  early  season  of  that  year  Dr.  Levi  Ward  received  author- 
ity from  Gideon  Granger,  then  postmaster-general,  to  transport  a  weekly  mail 
from  Caledonia,  via  Riga,  Murray,  Parma  and  Northampton,  to  Charlotte. 
According  to  the  terms  of  the  contract  the  mail  was  to  leave  Caledonia  every 
Monday  morning  at  eight  o'clock,  and  arrive  at  Charlotte,  a  distance  of  about 
thirty- two  miles,  at  four  p.  m.  Tuesday.  The  postmaster- general  agreed  to 
appoint  deputy  postmasters  in  locations  designated  by  the  contractor,  which 
were  seven  miles  distant  from  each  other.  Dr.  Ward's  compensation  was  the 
net  proceeds  of  letter  and  newspaper  postage  collected  on  the  route.  The  rate 
was  from  twenty  to  twenty-five  cents  per  letter,  according  to  distance,  and  for 
newspapers  one  cent  each.  The  plan  was  at  once  put  in  operation,  and  the 
success  and  satisfaction  resulting  induced  the  postmaster- general  to  enter  into 
a  new  contract  with  Dr.  Ward,  for  the  extension  of  routes  along  the  Ridge 
road  to  Oak  Orchard  creek;  from  Parma  through  Ogden  and  Riga  to  Bergen, 
and  from  Bergen  to  Batavia;  in  fact,  the  arrangement  gave  Dr.  Ward  discre- 
tionary "authority  to  designate  the  location  of  post-offices  wherever  he  would 
agree  to  deliver  rnail  once  a  week,  for  all  the  postage  he  might  collect,  in 
nearly  all  the  country  between  Canandaigua  and  the  Niagara  river,  and  from 
the  Canandaigua  and  Buffalo  road  northward  to  Lake  Ontario."  ^  The  system 
continued  in  operation,  supplying  the  convenience  of  mail  facilities  to  a  wide, 
sparsely  populated  region  until  1815,  and  on  some  of  the  routes  until  1820, 
when  it  was  generally  superseded  by  the  ordinary  contract  system. 

As  early  as  1804  the  business  men  of  Canandaigua  contributed  to  the 
improvement  of  a  road  that  had  been  constructed  many  years  before  from 
Canandaigua  to  the  crossing  of  Allen's  creek  on  East  avenue  and  thence  north 
to  Tryon's  Town  near  Irondequoit  landing,  and  extended  it  northwest  through 

1  Sketches  of  Rochester,  1838,  by  Henry  O'Rielly,  p.  331. 


Early  ^A1L  Facilities.  91 

the  present  town  of  Irondequoit,  passing  in  the  rear  of  Hooker's  cemetery 
(where  the  old  road-bed  still  exists)  and  across  the  country  to  the  east  bank 
of  the  Genesee  river  and  Charlotte,  or  Port  Genesee,  as  the  place  was  variously 
termed.  All  travel  from  Canandaigua,  north  of  the  Buffalo  road,  was  over 
this. so-called  "Merchants'  road"  to  Charlotte,  and  mail  matter  was  occasion- 
ally carried  by  teamsters.  In  i8i2  the  latter  place  was  looked  upon  as  the 
future  great  lake  port  and  rising  town  of  Western  New  York,  1  but  no  means 
of  regular  communication  existed  between  that  place  and  Rochester  until 
1 8 14,  when  Gideon  Cobb  started  a  semi- weekly  ox-team  line  for  the  convey- 
ance of  freight  and  passengers. 

On  the  establishment  of  Dr.  Ward's  postal  system  F.  Bushnell  was  ap- 
pointed postmaster  at  Charlotte,  and  through  the  kindness,  of  individuals  who 
"called  for  mail,"  the  residents  of  Rochester  —  numbering  fifteen  people  all 
told,  July  4th,  i8i2  —  were  enabled  to  correspond  with  the  world  at  large, 
and  receive  news  via  Canandaigua  or  Bath,  Avon,  Caledonia,  Parma  and 
Charlotte.  This  roundabout  course  was  not  considered  a  sufficient  accom- 
modation, and  the  subject  of  direct  mail  connections  with  the  east  was  ear- 
nestly discussed.  The  late  Edwin  Scrantom  (whose  record  of  early  local  events 
is  invaluable)  was  authority  for  the  statement  that  "the  first  rhail  received  in 
Rochester  arrived  in  July,  18 12."  If  the  date  is  correct  the  mail  must  have 
been  carried  by  private  individuals  during  that  summer,  as  no  post-office 
existed  and  the  first  postmaster,  Abelard  Reynolds,  was  not  appointed  until 
October,  and  his  commission  not  issued  until  November  19th,  181 2.  ^  For 
this  appointment  Mr.  Reynolds  was  indebted  to  the  influence  of  Colonel  Roch- 
ester, through  Henry  Clay,  his  intimate  friend,  and  son-in-law  of  Colonel 
Thomas  Hart,  the  business  partner  of  Colonel  Rochester.  It  was  agreed  upon 
during  an  interview  between  Colonel  Rochester  and  Mr.  Reynolds,  held  at 
Dansville  some  time  in  July,  1812;  no  regular  application  for  a  post-office  in 
Rochester  had  been  made  to  the  department  at  that  time. 

While  here  in  July  Mr.  Reynolds  purchased  lots  23  and  24  north  side  of 
Buffalo  street,  built  the  wall  and  frame  of  a  dwelling  twenty-four  by  thirty-six 
feet,  upon  lot  23  (now  numbered  10,  12,  14,  16,  East  Main  street),  contracted 
for  the  completion  of  the  house,  and  late  in  August  returned  to  Pittsfield, 
Mass.,  for  his  family.  In  his  unpublished  memoirs  Mr.  Reynolds  refers  to  his 
appointment  as  postmaster,  in  the  modest  manner  peculiar  to  himself:  — 

"While  in  the  post-office  at  Pittsfield,  in  October,  Colonel  Danforth,  the  postmaster, 
informed  me  that  he  saw  by  the  papers  that  I  had  been  appointed  postmaster  at  Roch- 
ester. I  replied  that  I  had  not  heard  of  it,  but  it  was  not  an  unexpected  event,  as  an 
office  had  been  applied  for  at  that  place  and  my  name  recommended  as  a  proper  person 
to  discharge  its  duties." 

1  Memoirs  of  Abelard  Reynolds. 

2  Records  of  Post-Office  Department,  Washington. 


92  History  OF  THE  CiTY^  OF  Rochester. 

Learning  that  the  contractor  had  done  nothing  to  his  house,  Mr.  Reynolds 
engaged  Otis  Wallcer  of  Brighton,  to  carry  himself  and  a  load  of  furniture  to 
Rochester,  where  he  arrived  November  1st.  He  at  once  set  about  the  erection 
of  a  building  on  lot  24  (now  numbered  18,  20,  22,  East  Main  street)  which  was 
completed  January  15th.  Returning  to  Massachusetts  he  engaged  William 
Strong  to  bring  a  load  of  furniture,  and  with  his  own  horse  and  cutter  brought 
to  their  new  home  his  wife,  their  son  William,  and  Mrs.  Reynolds's  sister  liul- 
dah  Strong,  arriving  at  Rochester  early  in  February.  Mr.  Reynolds  was  a 
saddler  and  occupied  the  front  room  of  his  house  fgr  business  purposes.  There 
the  citizens  of  Rochester  and  other  early  settlers  of  the  vicinity  came  for  their 
mail. 

Among  the  furniture  brought  from  Pittsfield  was  a  large  desk  of  pine,  three 
and  a  half  feet  in  length,  two  wide  and  four  feet  high.  It  had  a  pigeon-hole 
compartment  in  the  top  and  two  large  drawers  underneath  furnished  with  neat 
brass  ring-pulls ;  it  was  stained  to  resemble  black  walnut,  and  the  sloping  top 
was  covered  with  black  velvet  trimmed  with  brass-headed  tacks.  This  desk 
was  placed  in  the  shop,  where  it  served  a  triple  purpose  as  the  receptacle  of 
tools  and  private  and  public  papers.  All  mail  matter  received  was  put  in  the 
pigeon-holes,  and  practically  the  desk  was  the  first  post-office  of  Rochester. 
It  was  in  constant  use  as  the  depository  of  mail  and  post-office  papers  during 
Mr.  Reynolds's  term  of  office,  and  now  occupies  an  honored  position  in  the 
Reynolds  library,  firm  and  substantial  as  when  first  made,  though  plainly  ex- 
hibiting the  marks  of  over  seventy-  two  years  of  service.  A  cut  of  the  desk  sup- 
plements this  chapter. 

The  first  regular  mail  was  brought  to  Rochester  from  Canandaigua  on  horse- 
back. It  was  received  once  a  week,  and  part  of  the  time  a  woman  (whose  name 
history  fails  to  reveal)  performed  the  duty  of  post-rider.  The  letters  were  carried 
in  saddle-bags  which  hung  across  the  horse  in  rear  of  the  saddle,  to  which  they 
were  attached,  and  the  old  mail  saddle-bags  were  usually  well  filled.  The  com- 
pletion of  the  bridge  at  Main  street  in  Rochester  opened  up  a  shorter  route  from 
Canandaigua  to  the  Niagara  river,  and  diverted  considerable  of  the  through 
travel  from  the  Buffalo  road  passing  through  Avon  and  Caledonia.  The  road 
from'  Rochester  to  Buffalo,  via  Batavia,  was  not  then  opened,  and  the  ridge 
road  between  Rochester  and  Lewiston  was  simply  a  wide  trail,  at  times  nearly 
impassable.  In  1813  the  legislature  granted  five  thousand  dollars  for  "cutting 
out  the  path  and  bridging  the  streams,"  and  the  improved  conditions  turned 
the  tide  of  western  travel  through  Rochester,  and  over  the  Ridge  road,  in  a 
steadily  increasing  flow.  During  the  summer  and  fall'  of  1 8 1 3  Mr.  Reynolds  fin- 
ished the  basement  story  and  some  of  the  rooms  of  the  large  house  and  moved 
into  it,  transferring  the  post-office  business  to  his  new  habitation,  where  the 
desk  previously  described  continued  in  service  as  the  regular  depository  of  all 
mail  matter.  In  1815  J.  G.  Bond  and  Captain  Elisha  Ely  determined  to  run 
a  stage  between  Rochester  and  Canandaigua,  and  organised  a  company  for 


-iJiayrJ.    ^U^^^^^^^ 


Early  Mail  Facilities.  93 

that  purpose,  consisting  of  William  Hildreth  of  Pittsford,  and  otiier  tavern- 
keepers  along  the  route.  Mr.  Hildreth  put  a  light  wagon  on  the  road  in  No- 
vember, 1815,  the  post-rider  discontinued  his  trips,  and  the  mail  was  carried  to 
and  from  Rochester  by  wagon  twice  a  week. 

In  January,  1816,  the  company  placed  a  coach  body  on  runners,  and  it  was 
the  first  four-in-hand  mail  coach  that  ever  entered  Rochester,  the  enthusiastic 
reception  accorded  to  it  by  the  villagers  nearly  reaching  the  proportions  of  a 
public  celebration.  Messrs.  Bond  and  Ely  extended  their  enterprise  to  the  Ni- 
agara river,  by  enlisting  the  tavern-keepers  along  the  Ridge  road,  their  princi- 
pal supporters  and  earnest  co-laborers  being  Messrs.  Barton  and  Fairbanks  of 
Lewiston.  In  the  early  spring  of  i8i6  General  Micah  Brooks  presented  a  res- 
olution to  congress,  inquiring  "as  to  the  expediency  of  establishing  a  post  route 
from  the  village  of  Canandaigua,  by  way  of  the  village  of  Rochester,  to  the 
village  of  Lewiston  in  the  county  of  Niagara  and  state  of  New  York."  The  mail 
was  then  carried  by  stage,  the  company  taking  all  postage  received  in  payment. 
Congress  soon  after  authorised  the  route  proposed  by  General  Brooks,  and  the 
company  contracted  to  carry  the  mail  for  a  set  price.  A  tri- weekly  four-horse 
coach  was  Jjut  upon  the  route  in  June,  18 16,  and  within  a  year  there  was  often 
a  necessity  for  sending  out  three  and  four  extras  a  day  for  passengers.  The 
travel  increased  to  such  an  extent  that  for  several  years  coaches  ran  in  such 
numbers  that  they  were  seldom  out  of  sight  of  each  other  along  every  mile  of 
the  Ridge  road. 

In  1815  Mr.  Reynolds  opened  his  house  as  a  tavern,  and  in  1817  rented  it 
to  Lebbeus  Elliot  for  two  years.  During  that  time  the  post-office  remained  in 
the  same  building,  to  which  Mr.  Reynolds  returned  in  the  spring  of  18 19.  He 
added  a  wing  to  the  east  side  of  the  building  for  a  bar-room,  with  a  portico  in 
front,  at  the  east  end  of  which  he  located  the  post-office,  connecting  it  with  the 
bar-room.  The  partition  between  the  office  and  open  part  of  the  portico  con- 
sisted of  a  glazed,  pigeon-holed  case  for  mail,  and  the  delivery  was  through  an 
opening  in  this  case  to  the  portico.  Persons  could  thus  step  from  the  street 
into  the  portico,  obtain  their  mail  and  pass  onward  without  entering  the  tavern. 
The  steamer  Ontario  commenced  her  trips  from  Sackett's  Harbor  to  Lewiston 
in  181 7,  and  once  a  week  came  to  Hanford's  Landing.  The  postmaster- general 
having  authorised  the  carrying  of  mails  by  steamboats  in  18x5,  the  American 
lake  ports  and  Canada  were  thus  brought  into  regular  communication  with 
Rochester.  In  18 19  a  mail  route  was  established  between  Cuylerville  and 
Rochester,  and  in  1 820  mails  were  received  once  a  week  from  Bath,  Dansville, 
Geneseo,  Avon  and  intermediate  towns.  It  is  said  that  mails  from  Canandai- 
gua and  Lewiston  reached  Rochester  daily  in  1820;  but  "as  late  as  182 1  there 
was  not  a  single  post  coach  in  the  United  States  west  of  Buffalo.  The  Erie 
canal  was  staked  out  but  not  a  shovelful  of  earth  had  been  removed  from  its 
bed  in  Buffalo,  railroads  were  unborn  and  telegraphs  unthought  of."  ^ 

1  Poty's  History  of  Livingston  County,  p.  597. 


94  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

In  1 824  the  mail  stage  between  Rochester  and  Geneseo  ran  three  times  a 
week  each  way,  leaving  here  Mondays,  Wednesdays  and  Fridays  at  half-past 
five  in  the  morning.  In  April,  1825,  E.  Fiske  established  a  daily  Hne  of  stages 
from  Geneseo,  "intersecting  the  east  and  west  lines  at  Avon,  thus  giving  daily 
communication  with  Rochester,  Canandaigua  and  Batavia."  Elegant  coaches 
were  placed  on  the  route  in  December,  but  the  regular  mail  was  carried  only 
three  times  a  week.  In  1826  the  citizens  of  Rochester  regularly  received 
through  the  post-office  twenty-six  daily,  two  hundred  and  eighty-four  semi- 
weekly  and  six  hundred  and  ninety  weekly  newspapers,  and  the  receipts  of  the 
last  quarter  of  that  year  were  $1,718.44.  Mails  arrived  and  departed  as  fol- 
lows :  "  Eastern  and  western,  once  a  day  ;  Palmyra,  seven  mails  a  week  in  sum- 
mer and  three  in  winter ;  Penfield,  six  mails  a  week ;  Scottsville,  seven  mails  a 
week  in  summer,  and  three  in  winter ;  Oswego,  one  mail  a  week ;  Batavia, 
three  mails  a  week;  Geneseo,  three  mails  a  week."  Preparatory  to  the  erec- 
tion of  the  Arcade,  in  1828,  the  post-office  effects  were  removed  to  a  building 
on  the  northwest  corner  of  Buffalo  and  Hughes  streets,  now  West  Main  and 
North  Fitzhugh.  In  the  spring  Mr.  Reynolds  moved  the  tavern  building  about 
one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  north  of  its  original  position,  and  upon  the  erection 
of  the  Arcade  it  was  attached  to  and  constituted  the  rear  part  of  that  struct- 
ure. In  1829  the  post-office  was  re-established  in  the  new  building,  on  the 
old  location. 

To  trace  the  opening  of  new  routes  and  lines  of  postal  communication  be- 
tween Rochester  and  the  outside  world,  to  record  the  successive  changes  in  the 
mode  of  conveyance  from  the  saddle-bagged  post-horse,  picking  his  way 
through  the  dangers  of  a  primitive  wilderness  at  the  rate  of  one  mile  an  hour, 
to  the  finely  appointed  mail  car  of  the  modern  railway,  passing  through  the 
country  over  its  smooth  track  of  steel  at  a  speed  exceeding  sixty  miles  an  hour, 
would  require  the  space  of  volumes.  To  chronicle  the  innovatidns  of  time  and 
postal  reforms  from  the  uncpvered,  wafer-sealed  sheet  requiring  twenty-five 
cents  to  carry  it  a  distance  of  one  hundred  miles,- to  this  era  of  cheap  postage, 
free  delivery  and  instantaneous  postal  telegraphic  connections  around  the  globe, 
is  not  my  purpose. 

The  records  of  seventy- two  years  of  postal  transactions  show  that  political 
preferment  effected  many  changes  in  the  head  of  the  Rochester  post-office. 
Abelard  Reynolds,  the  pioneer  postmaster,  commissioned  November  19th, 
181 2,  held  the  position  seventeen  years,  his  son  William  A.  Reynolds  acting  as 
assistant  and  deputy  during  the  latter  part  of  his  term.  Mr.  Reynolds's  suc- 
cessors, and  the  dates  of  their  appointment,  were  as  follows :  John  B.  Elwood, 
June  29th,  1829  ;  Henry  O'Rielly,  May  24th,  1838  ;  Samuel  G.  Andrews,  Janu- 
ary 1 8th,  1842;  Henry  Campbell,  July  i8th,  1845  ;  Darius  Perrin,  April  12th, 
1849;  Hubbard  S.  Allis,  June  30th,  1853;  Nicholas  E.  Paine,  July  6th,  1858; 
Scott  W.  Updike,   July  26th,  1861,  and  July  12th,  1865;   John   W.    Stebbins, 


Postal  Statistics  of  Rochester.  95 

March  28th,  1867;   Edward  M.  Smith,  January  i6th,    1871  ;   Daniel  T.  Hunt, 
March  nth,  1875  ;  March  3d,  1879,    and  March  3d,   1883. 

The  changes  made  in  the  location  of  the  post-offices  have  been  few.  In  a 
letter  written  to  Postmaster-General  Barry,  April  i8th,  1833,  Mr.  Reynolds 
inclosed  a  plan  of  the  Arcade  and  among  other  things  said  :  — 

"The  first  room 'on  the  west  side  of  the  hall,  as  you  enter  from  Buffalo  street,  is  the 
post-office.  It  has  a  small  recess  in  front,  which  is  closed  at  night,  where  the  citizens  re- 
ceive their  letters  and  papers.  The  whole  arrangement  is  admirably  calculated  to  ac- 
commodate the  public,  the  Arcade  hall  being  sufficiently  spacious  to  contain  all  who 
will  ever  congregate  on  the  arrival  of  the  mail." 

The  rapid  increase  in  population,  however,  exceeded  even  Mr.  Reynolds's  ex- 
pectations, and  he  soon  after  made  arrangements  for  a  better  accommodation  of 
the  post-office  and  the  public.  The  old  tavern  post-office  building  was  re- 
moved from  the  rear  of  the  Arcade  to  the  north  side  of  Bugle  alley  (Exchange 
place),  where  Corinthian  Academy  of  Music  now  stands,  and  in  1848  was 
moved  to  numbers  11  and  13,  Sophia  street.  There  the  frame  was  bricked  up 
and  in  its  new  form  the  building  has  been  in  use  as  a  private  residence  to  the 
present  day.  Upon  its  former  site,  in  the  rear  of  the  Arcade,  Abelard  Rey- 
nolds erected  a  brick  building,  forty-six  by  twenty-two  feet.  This  stood  fifteen 
feet  north  of  the  Arcade,  to  which  it  was  connected  by  a  frame  building,  or  cov- 
ered-way and  was  used  solely  for  postal  purposes.  It  extended  to  Exchange 
place,  and  walks  along  each  side  afforded  free  passage  through  the  Arcade  to 
Main  street.  About  1842  this  post-office  building  was  torn  down,  the  Arcade 
extended  to  Exchange  place,  and  the  post-office  located  at  the  northwest  end 
of  the  hall.  In  1859  it  was  removed  to  the  east  side.  To  meet  the  require- 
ments of  increasing  business  additional  space  has  been  acquired  from  time  to 
time,  until  the  post-office  now  includes  15,  17,  19  Arcade  hall,  37,  39  Arcade 
gallery  and  11  to  23  inclusive.  Exchange  place,  covering  an  area  of  floor  room 
exceeding  8,000  square  feet. 

A  comparative  statement  of  postal  statistics  will  illustrate  the  wonderful 
changes  that  have  occurred  during  the  span  of  a  single  life  and  within  the 
memory  of  many  persons  now  living.  The  population  of  Rochester  January 
1st,  1813,  did  not  exceed  fifty  people,  all  told.  The  mail,  then  averaging 
about  four  pieces,  arrived  and  departed  once  a  week  after  that  date,  and  the 
receipts  of  the  post-office  for  the  first  quarter  of  the  year  were  $3.42,  the 
expense  and  profit  to  the  government  nothing.  Until  1 8 19  all  mail  matter 
was  kept  in  a  desk,  and  for  a  period  of  twenty  years  following  its  establish- 
ment the  duties  of  the  office  were  performed  by  the  postmaster  and  one 
assistant 

January  1st,  1884,  the  population  of  Rochester  numbered  108,971.  Mails 
were  received  daily  by  twenty- two  railway  trains  and  six  stage  routes;  the 
letter  pouches  and   sacks   received    averaging   119  and  those  dispatched  379. 

1  No.  4,  present  Arcade  hall. 


96 


History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 


The  number  of  pieces  handled  by  carriers  during  1883  was  12,891,375.  The 
number  of  pieces  handled  daily  by  the  entire  office  force  averaged  100,000, 
and  the  aggregate  for  the  year  was  36,000,000.  The  total  transactions  of  the 
money  order  department  were  100,695  amounting  to  $863,751.92.  The 
registry  department  registered  12,754  letters  and  4,034  packages,  and  delivered 
at  the  office  48,870  letters.  The  gross  sum  received  by  the  post-office  in  1883 
was  $259,840.13;  the  total  expense  $57,466.41,  leaving  a  net  profit  to  the 
government  of  $202,373.72. 

The  officials  of  the  office  were:  Postmaster,  Daniel  T.  Hunt;  assistant 
postmaster,  W.  Seward  Whittlesey;  superintendent  of  carriers,  George  F. 
Loder;  assistant  superintendent  of  carriers,  James  T.  Sproat;  chief  clerk, 
Calvin  Wait;  money  order  department,  Willis  G.  Mitchell;  registry  depart- 
ment, Frank  A.  Bryan;  stamp  department,  Jacob  G.  Maurer;  mailing  depart- 
ment, William  C.  Walker;  assisted  by  a  force  of  twenty-five  clerks  and  thirty- 
three  letter  carriers. 

Note. — All  of  the  foregoing  chapters  were  prepared  by  Mr.  George  H.  Harris. — [Kd. 


THK   FIRST   I'OST-OFl'ICE  OF   ROCHESTER 


ROCHESTER 

1814. 


Reasons  for  Rochester's  Tardy  Settlement.  97 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

THE  BIRTH  OF  ROCHESTER. 

Reasons  for  Its  Tardy  Settlement  —  Prevalence  of  Diseases  in  this  Part  of  the  Country  —  Dr. 
I.ucUow  on  Typhoid  Pneumonia  —  The  First  House  on  the  West  Side  of  the  River  —  The  War  of 
1812  —  Attempted  Intimidation  at  Charlotte  —  The  Projected  Invasion  Abandoned  —  Erection  of  the 
Red  Mill,  the  Cotton  Factory,  etc.  —  Census  of  1815  —  The  First  Newspaper. 

IT  is  easy  to  locate  in  time  the  very  day  of  the  discovery  of  an  island,  the 
very  hour  of  laying  the  corner-stone  of  a  new  building,  the  very  minute  in 
which  the  pick  is  put  into  the  ground  for  the  beginning  of  a  railway;  but  to 
settle  upon  the  time  of  the  initiation  of  a  village  is  a  thing  approaching 
the  impossible,  and  the  historian  who  is  the  most  absolute  in  his  statement  of 
such  an  event  is  the  one  to  be  most  flatly  contradicted  by  succeeding  writers. 
The  range  of  years  in  one  of  which  the  settlement  of  Rochester  (or  Rochester- 
ville)  is  to  be  fixed  is  not  very  great,  but  authorities  are  not  agreed  as  to  what 
constituted  the  inception  of  the  hamlet  or  the  precise  time  in  which  it  took 
place.  Orsamus  Turner,  in  his  History  of  the  Phelps  &  Gorhain  Purchase, 
puts  the  date  at  18  il,  for  the  reason  that  that  was  the  year  in  which  Colonel 
Rochester  first  surveyed  and  sold  lots  on  the  One-hundred-acre  tract.  Others 
place  it  at  181 2,  the  year  which  is  acceptable  to  the  majority,  including  Dr. 
Coventry,  a  resident  of  Geneva  in  early  days  and  more  lately  of  Utlca,  who 
adopts  it  in  an  address  delivered  before  the  Oneida  county  Medical  society  in 
1823,  and  Elisha  Ely  in  the  Rochester  directory  of  1827,  wherein  it  is  spoken 
of  as  the  birth  year  of  the  village. 

Turner  comments  upon  the  reasons  for  the  tardiness  in  effecting  a  settle- 
ment at  this  piace.  After  speaking  of  what  had  been  done  on  the  shore  of 
the  lake  west  of  here,  at  Oak  Orchard  and  other  little  hamlets,  he  says  :  — 

"  l'"ollo\ving  these  ])ioncer  advents,  other  adventurers  were  '  few  and  far  between ;'  tliey 
were  in  a  few  localities  in  Niagara,  along  on  the  Ridge  in  OHeans,  in  Clarkson,  Ogdeii, 
Bergen,  Riga,  Chili,  Greece,  Penfield,  Macedon,  Walworth,  Marion,  and  along  on  the 
road  from  Sod  us  to  Lyons.  When  litde  neighborhoods  had  been  formed  in  all  these 
detached  localities,  disease  came  into  the  openings  of  the  forest  about  as  fast  as  they 
were  made.  Often  families,  and  sometimes  almost  entire  neighborhoods,  were  carried 
into  the  older  and  healthier  localities,  upon  ox-sleds  and  carts,  through  wood-roads,  to 
be  nursed  and  cared  for.  Through  long  years  this  operated  not  unlike  the  carrying 
of  the  dead  and  wounded  from  a  battlefield  into  the  presence  of  those  whose  aid  is 
required  to  renew  and  maintain  the  strife.  It  is  but  litde  less  appalling  and  discouraging. 
The  whole  region  now  immediately  under  consideration  was  sickly  in  all  the  eady  years, 
and  upon  that  account,  and  for  other  reasons,  was  slow  in  setthng.  All  the  region  around 
the  falls  of  the  Genesee,  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  at  King's  Landing,  was  regarded  as 
prolific  in  the  seeds  of  disease  —  of  chills  and  fever  —  almost  as  are  the  Poiitine  marshes 
of  the  Old  world  and  the  passes  of  the  Isthmus  on  the  route  to  California.  A  single 
instance  may  be  stated  in  this  connection.     The   causes  that  have  been  cited  are  quite 


98  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

sufficient  to  account  for  the  late  start  of  Rochester;  to  explain  to  the  readers  of  the 
present  day  why  valuable  hydraulic  privileges,  in  the  immediate  neighborhood  of  shipping 
ports  of  Lake  Ontario,  were  so  long  principally  shrouded  by  the  primeval  forest,  after 
settlement  had  approached  and  almost  surrounded  the  locality.  To  these  causes  the 
reader  may  add  what  he  has  already  observed  'Of  the  tendency  of  things  toward  tlie 
main  thoroughfare,  the  Buffalo  road,  in  early  years,  and  the  fact  that  quite  u])  to  the 
period  of  the  start  of  Rochester  the  commercial  enterprise  and  expectation  of  a  large 
settled  portion  of  the  Genesee  country  was  turned  in  the  direction  of  the  headwaters 
of  the  Alleghany  and  Susquehanna  rivers." 

In  this  opening  year  the  bridge  across  the  Genesee  river  was  finished,  and 
long  after  its  completion  it  was  regarded  with  far  more  pride  and  admiration 
than  were  ever  bestowed  on  its  present  successor,  the  substantial  and  invisible 
structure  over  which  Main  street  now  takes  its  way.  It  was,  indeed,  no  mean 
afiTair,  for  it  took  two  years  to  build  it,  and  the  expense,  amounting  to  $I2,000, 
was  borne  by  the  counties  of  Ontario  and  Genesee.  Before  that  time  the  only 
bridge  on  the  river  was  at  Avon,  twenty  miles  south,  where  the  "  Bufifalo  road" 
crossed,  and  the  usual  means  of  passage  at  this  point  was  by  fording  on  the 
level  rocky  bottom  where  Court  street  bridge  now  stands.  Besides  this  there 
was  a  rude  ferry  at  the  rapids  above,  with  a  large  flat-boat  drawn  by  an  end- 
less cable,  for  David  Frink  made  the  transit  in  this  manner  in  the  fall  of  i8i  i, 
with  his  wife  and  six  children,  one  of  whom  afterward  married  Alonzo  Frost, 
and  another  Edward  Frost ;  both  ladies  are  now  living  in  this  city,  at  the  age 
of  seventy-eight  and  eighty  years,  respectively.  The  completion  of  the  bridge 
probably  did  much  to  determine  the  location  of  the  future  city,  for  previous  to 
that  the  strife  had  been  quite  active  between  the  village  at  the  mouth  of  the 
river — named  after  Charlotte,  a  daughter  of  Colonel  Troup,  the  agent  of  the 
Pulteney  estate  -^  and  the  little  gathering  of  houses  around  Frederick  Hanford's 
store  at  the  upper  landing,  first  named  King's  Landing,  then  called  Fall  Town, 
and  later  known  as  Hanford's  Landing. 

An  extract  from  Ayi  Essay  on  the  Genesee  Country,  published  by  Dr.  Lud- 
low in  the  New  York  Medical  atid  Physical  Journal  for  1823,  is  of  interest  as 
showing  the  sanitary  condition,  in  this  early  period,  of  this  locality,  through 
which  he  was  then  continually  traveling,  and  from  which  he  had  constant 
reports :  — 

"In  March  of  181 2  there  were  frequent  cases  of  pleuritis  with  great  diversity  of 
symptoms.  In  some  cases  copious  bleeding  was  required,  with  a  strict  antiphlogistic 
regimen,  while  in  others  an  opposite  course  of  treatment  was  indicated.  The  weather 
had  been  variable,  with  southerly  winds.  In  April  and  May  were  noticed  for  the  first 
time  a  few  sporadic  cases  o{  pneumonia  typhoides,  a  disease  until  then  unknown,  and 
which,  during  the  ensuing  winter,  became  the  most  formidable  epidemic  which  had  ever 
appeared  in  this  country.  In  the  first  cases  the  local  affection  was  principally  confined 
to  the  throat,  and  these  were  more  fatal  than  those  which  succeeded  them,  in  which  the 
lungs  and  brain  were  principally  affected.  The  summer  months  were  extremely  warm 
and  dry  J  diarrhoea,  dysentery  and  the  usual  fevers  were  prevalent.  During  the  autumn 
pneutnonia  typhoides  again  prevailed  in  different  parts  of  the  country,  particularly  among 


First  House  on  the  West  Side  of  the  River.  99 

the  soldiers  at  Lewiston,  on  the  Niagara  frontier.  In  January  and  Februar)',  1813,  the 
weather  was  very  variable,  being  alternately  cold  and  humid;  the  epidemic  pneumonia 
now  became  general  and  caused  great  mortality.     There  were  two  forms  of  the  disease, 

sthenic  and  asthenic ;  the  greater  portion,  however,  were  of  the  latter  kind 

The  multiplicity  of  symptoms  occasioned  a  great  variety  of  treatment ;  some  depleted, 
others  stimulated.  On  its  first  apjjearance  large  bleedings  were  employed,  but  with 
temporary  relief,  in  most  cases  the  patient  sinking  oh  the  third  or  fourth  day.  In  other 
sections  of  the  country  this  mode  of  treatment  was  more  successful.     Those  who  were 

opposed  to  the  lancet  trusted  to  opium,  a  practice  equally  fatal The  epidemic 

ceased  on  the  return  of  warm  weather.  The  summer  was  unusually  healthy.  In  the 
winter  of  1814  the  destructive  disease  returned,  though  it  was  not  so  malignant  as  it 
had  proved  the  last  season.  Depleting  remedies  generally  produced  a  favorable  ter- 
mination. In  the  autumn  catarrhal  complaints  were  very  prevalent.  In  1815  the 
fevers  were  generally  inflammatory  and  easily  subdued.  In  July  dysentery  prevailed  as 
an  epidemic,  but  admitted  of  free  depletion.  In  some  cases  it  was  accompanied  by  ex- 
ternal inflammation  and  tumefaction  of  the  face,  neck  and  joints ;  in  some  few  instances 
the  inflammation  of  the  face  terminated  in  gangrene.  The  fatality  was  greatest  among 
children." 

The  sickness  described  above  was  evidently  of  a  nature  kindred  to  those 
diseases  mentioned  by  Turner.  Whatever  influence  they  may  have  liad  in 
postponing  the  settlement  of  the  village,  they  evidently  had  not  much  effect  in 
checking  the  growth  of  Rochester,  after  it  once  began,  for  it  increased  so  rap- 
idly as  to  show  that  settlers  must  have  poured  in  from  all  quarters.  The  very 
first  year  displayed  an  activity  which  has  scarcely  been  emulated  since  then, 
when  we  take  into  consideration  the  paucity  of  numbers,  the  difficulty  of  the 
transportation  of  material  from  other  places  and  the  smallness  of  capital  invested, 
compared  with  the  streams  of  wealth  that  have,  in  these  later  years,  flowed 
into  the  far  western  towns  when  they  began  to  exhibit  evidence  of  prosperity. 
Among  the  events  of  that  year,  after  the  proprietors  of  the  Allan  mill  lot  had 
surveyed  it  into  village  lots  and  opened  it  for  sale  and  settlement,  was  the  erec- 
tion of  the  first  house  on  the  west  side  of  the  river.  This  was  on  the  corner 
of  State  and  West  Main  streets,  where  the  Powers  block  now  stands,  and  was 
built  for  Hamlet  Scrantom  by  Henry  Skinner,  on  a  lot  which  the  latter  had 
purchased  from  Colonel  Rochester.  Having  been  begun  early  in  the  year  it 
was  completed  in  May,  Mr.  Scrantom  finishing  the  structure  by  roofing  it  with 
slabs  from  the  saw-mill  on  the  other  side  of  the  river,  which  were  floated  across 
at  the  rapids,  as  the  bridge  was  not  then  open  for  travel.  On  the  Fourth  of 
July  the  house  was  first  occupied,  and  what  celebration  there  was  of  the 
nation's  birthday  in  this  place  consisted  in  part  of  bonfires  built  in  front  of  the 
log  hut.  One  of  the  four  sons  of  the  occupant  of  this  dwelling  was  Hamlet  D. 
Scrantom,  elected  mayor  of  the  city  in  i860,  and  another  was  the  late  Edwin 
Scrantom,  who  at  a  later  period  in  life  referred  to  it  in  a  pleasing  little  poem 
called  My  Early  Home,  one  stanza  of  which  is  as  follows :  — 


loo  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

"  Back  on  the  misty  track  of  time, 

In  memory's  flickering  light, 
I  see  the  scenes  of  other  days 

Like  meteors  in  the  night. 
The  garden,  with  its  low-built  fence. 

With  stakes  and  withes  to  tie  it ; 
The  rude  log-house,  my. early  home. 

And  one  wild  maple  by  it." 

Mr.  Scrantom  is  the  authority  for  the  statements  given  immediately  above, 
as  told  to  the  writer  several  years  ago,  and  subsequently  published  by  Mr. 
Scrantom.  Not  in  conflict  with  those  recollections,  but  as  setting  the  matter 
in  another  light  and  showing  that,  while  the  log  hut  above  alluded  to  was 
doubtless  the  first  dwelling  built  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  the  first  frame 
house  erected  in  that  neighborhood  was  put  up  by  other  parties,  the  following 
extracts  are  given  from  the  private  diary,  or  "  memoirs  and  reminiscences,"  as 
he  styles  them,  of  the  late  Abelard  Reynolds,  who  came  here  from  Pittsfield, 
Mass.,  in  April,  1812:  — 

"  On  arriving  at  the  falls  I  called  on  Enos  Stone  and  introduced  myself  as  being  in 
search  of  a  location  in  the  western  wilds  for  myself  and  little  family.  Mr.  Stone  replied 
that  he  was  from  Lenox,  which  adjoined  Pittsfield  ;  that  Messrs.  Rochester,  Carroll  and 
Fiti;hugh  had  appointed  him  as  their  agent  to  dispose  of  the  lots  in  the  Hundred-acre 
tract  on  the  other  side  of  the  river,  that  the  name  was  the  village  of  Rochester,  which, 
instead  of  inhabitants,  consisted  only  of  trees.  He  gave  me  a  warm  invitation  to  setde 
in  Rochester  and  become  his  neighbor.  I  crossed  near  where  the  aqueduct  stands. 
He  gave  me  on  the  west  side  a  button-wood  tree  as  an  object  to  guide  me  on  the 
perilous  voyage,  at  the  same  time  remarking  that  the  fall  previous  a  man  with. his  family 
moving  to  the  West,  in  attempting  to  cross  with  his  team  (his  family  having  left  to  criJ).ss 
on  the  unfinished  bridge),  was  swept  over  the  rapids,  and  the  man,  wagon  and  horses, 
with  a  load  of  furniture,  were  carried  over  the  falls  and  lost.  Having  crossed  in  safety 
I  proceeded  to  Charlotte  and  passed  the  night  at  a  respectable  hotel  kept  by  Erastus 
Spalding.  The  next  day  I  retraced  my  steps,  called  on  Mr.  Stone,  examined  the  map 
of  the  village  of  trees,  viewed  falls,  etc.  1  finally  concluded  to  settle  at  Rochester, 
provided  I  could  be  suited  in  the  selection  of  a  lot.  He  said  I  should  have  my  choice, 
and,  taking  the  map  of  the  village  of  trees,  we  crossed  the  unfinished  bridge  on  loose 
plank,  descending  the  long  ladder  at  the  west  end.  Then  walking  up  to  the  four  corners 
and  glancing  at  the  map,  I  said  1  would  take  number  i  ( '  Eagle'  corner),  but  he  said  that 
lot  was  sold  to  Henry  Skinner.  He  recommended  the  Clinton  House  lot,  because  it  had 
a  view  of  a  handsome  lawn  opposite,  in  front  of  the  Allan  mill.  It  did  not  suit  me.  I  told 
him  I  would  take  lots  23  and  24  [  where  the  Arcade  now  stands],  but  he  said  they 
were  also  sold,  the  former  to  Captain  Stone  and  the  latter  to  himself,  in  payment  of 
services  rendered,  but  that  I  might  have  his  lot.  We  recrossed  the  bridge  and  called 
on  Captain  Stone,  who  was  told  that  I  wished  to  settle  in  Rochester  and  purchase  his 
lot.  'Well,'  he  said,  'for  five  dollars  I  will  assign  the  article.'  I  paid  him  the  five  dol- 
lars and  he  made  the  assignment.  I  now  commenced  operations.  I  found  a  mason  by 
the  name  of  Sampson  in  township  number  7  (now  Irondequoit),  who  agreed  to  build 
the  basement  wall  on  which  to  erect  my  two-story  frame  building,  twenty-four  by  thirty- 
six  feet  square.     I  engaged  a  carpenter  by  the  name  of  Nehemiah  Hopkins  to  frame 


First  Store  Erected.  ioi 


and  raise  the  building,  and  on  the  i6th  of  August,  1812,  said  building  was  raised  and 
planked.  I  then  arranged  with  Hopkins  to  inclose  and  finish  the  house  to  the  extent 
of  the  joiner's  work,  while  I  should  return  to  Pittsfield  to  remove  the  family." 

Mr.  Reynolds  then  went  back  to  Massachusetts  and  completed  his  arrange- 
ments for  the  transfer  of  his  family  to  their  new  home,  when,  stopping  in  at 
the  Pittsfield  post-office  for  the  final  letters  which  he  might  receive  before  set- 
ting out,  two  surprises  met  him  —  a  gratification  and  a  disappointment.  He 
was  informed  of  his  appointment  as  postmaster,  and  received  a  letter  from  Mr. 
Stone,  telling  him  that  Hopkins  had  done  nothing  to  the  house  after  he  left 
Rochester.  This  news,  of  course,  deranged  his  plans  for  the  removal  of  his 
family.  Returning  alone,  to  his  western  possessions,  Mr.  Reynolds  decided 
that  it  would  be  rnore  trouble  to  complete  the  large  house  than  it  would  be  to 
erect  a  smaller  one  on  lot  24,  and  thus  fulfill  the  purchase  contract,  by  which 
he  was  bound  to  put  up  a  house  within  a  year.  The  timber  was  growing  in 
the  forest,  but  determination  overcame  all  obstacles,  and  by  the  middle  of  Jan- 
uary, 1813,  the  new  house  was  framed,  raised  and  finished  except  the  plaster- 
ing, the  lime  for  which  he  could  not  obtain  at  that  time.  A  second  return  to 
Pittsfield,  a  third  journey  to  Rochester,  this  time  with  the  family,  the  traveling 
being  done  in  a  sleigh,  ended  with  another  surprise,  though  easily  overcome. 
He  says:  "We  found  our  house  occupied  by  Israel  Scrantom,  but  he  vacated 
at  once  and  gave  up  possession,  and,  comparatively  speaking,  we  considered 
ourselves  in  comfortable  quarters,  for.it  was  the  best  house  in  the  place."  In 
this  house,  on  the  2d  of  December,  18 14,  occurred  the  birth  of  Mortimer  F. 
Reynolds,  the  first  white  child  born  on  the  west  side  of  the  river  within  the 
precincts  of  the  present  city,  and  in  fact  the  first  white  child  born  in  Rochester, 
as  that  name  did  not  apply  to  the  east  side,  until  the  incorporation  of  the  vil- 
lage. The  "large  house"  was  finished  within  a  year  after  the  first  one,  and 
stood  on  that  spot  till  1826,  when,  as  the  building  of  the  Arcade  then  began, 
it  was  moved  to  Sophia  street,  opposite  the  Central  church,  and  there  it  still 
remains,  inclosed  within  brick  walls.  Here  was  established  the  post-office,  a 
full  description  of  which,  from  that  time  to  this,  has  been  given  in  the  previous 
chapter. 

In  July  the  first  merchant's  store,  which  was  built  by  Silas  O.  Smith,  was 
opened  by  Ira  West,  and  about  that  month  Isaac  W.  Stone,  in  a  house  which 
he  had  just  built  on  St.  Paul  street,  near  where  the  Chapman  House  now 
stands,  opened  a  tavern,  the  only  one  in  this  locality  for  the  next  two  or  three 
years.  Moses  Atwater  and  Samuel  J.  Andrew^  (the  father  of  Samuel  G.  An- 
drews) then  began  to  make  improvements  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  while 
on  the  west  Francis  Brown,  Matthew  Brown,  jr.,  and  Thomas  Mumford  laid 
out  village  lots,  to  which  they  gave,  in  honor  of  the  first-named  of  the  three,  the 
title  of  Frankfort,  an  appellation  which  the  district  has  borne  almost  up  to  this 
day,     From  this  place  to  Lewiston  the  highway  (or  what  should  have  been 


I02  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

such)  ran  along  by  the  Ridge  road,  but,  as  it  was  then  almost  impassable,  the 
legislature  granted,  in  1813,  $5,000  for  clearing  the  path  and  bridging  the 
streams  between  the  two  places.  Three  houses  were  built  on  the  west  side 
during  that  year,  and,  what  was  of  more  importance  to  the  growth  of  the  vil- 
lage and  the  development  of  that  industry  from  which  so  much  of  its  wealth 
was  to  be  subsequently  derived,  the  mill  race  south  of  East  Main  .street  was 
opened  by  Rochester  &  Co. 

The  year  18 14  witnessed  the  first  mercantile  operations  of  any  importance 
in  the  little  village,  but  in  that  time  an  event  transpired  which  for  years  after- 
ward formed  a  leading  theme  of  conversation  among  the  older  inhabitants  and 
was  the  subject  of  at  least  one  poem  by  a  resident  author,  the  late  George  H. 
Mumford,  though  no  copies  of  it  have  been  obtainable  for  a  long  time  past. 
"Madison's  war"  —  to  use  the  name  which  the  opponents  of  the  national  ad- 
ministration gave  to  what  is  generally  known  as  the  war  of  18 12  —  had  been  in 
progress  for  two  years,  and,  although  no  gunpowder  had  been  burnt  here  for 
any  other  purpose  than  to  kill  the  bears  and  other  animals  that  lurked  in  the 
surrounding  forest  and  occasionally  came  among  the  houses,  still  it  had  some 
effect  in  causing  the  emigration  hither  to  slacken  perceptibly.  Many  of  the 
able-bodied  men  in  the  vicinity  had  gone  to  the  Niagara  frontier,  leaving  this 
point  almost  defenseless,  and  to  make  matters  worse  Sir  James  Yeo,  the  officer 
in  command  of  the  British  fleet  on  Lake  Ontario,  had  frequently  cruised  off 
the  mouth  of  the  Genesee,  and  had  in  June,  1813,  come  to  anchor  and  sent  a 
party  on  shore  for  the  purpose  of  plunder.  No  resistance  was  made,  as  there  was 
no  military  organisation  there  to  offer  it,  and  the  enemy,  who  had  landed  in  the 
afternoon,  remained  over  night,  keeping  sentinels  posted,  and  retired  early  in 
the  morning,  taking  with  them  a  quantity  of  salt,  whisky  and  provisions  from 
the  store-house  of  Frederick  BushncU,  for  which  they  kindly  gave  a  receipt  to 
George  Latta,  the  clerk.  Turner  thinks  their  speedy  departure  was  owing  to 
their  getting  information  that  an  armed  force  was  collecting  at  Hanford's  Land- 
ing, and  says  that  a  body  of  armed  men  which  had  gathered  there  marched 
down,  arriving  at  the  Charlotte  landing  just  as  the  invaders  were  embarking  on 
board  their  boats.  The  men  to  whom  he  refers  were  probably  those  under  the 
command  of  Colonel  Caleb  Hopkins,  who  was  a  resident  of  Pittsford  at  the 
time,  but  had  been  holding  for  many  years  the  double  position  of  collector  of 
the  customs  and  inspector  of  the  same,  at  the  port  of  Genesee,  both  commis- 
sions being  issued  by  President  Madison.  His  civic  duties  did  not  prevent  him 
from  engaging  in  military  pursuits,  as  the  following  letter  will  show.  It  was 
written  by  General  Amos  Hall,  at  that  time  a  major-general  of  militia,  and 
commanding  a  division  in  this  district,  and  is  addressed  to  "Lieutenant- Colo- 
nel Caleb  Hopkins,  Smallwood,  Ontario  County,"  —  Smallwood  being  the  name 
then  borne  by  the  village  which  is  now  Pittsford,  as  well  as  the  township  which 
included  both  it  and  the  village  of  Brighton  :  — 


The  War  OF  i8i2.  103 


"Bloomfield,  June  16,  1813. 

"I  this  moment  received  your  letter  by  Major  Norton,  advising  me  of  the  landing 
of  the  enemy  from  their  fleet,  off  the  mouth  of  the  Genesee  river.  Your  calling  out 
your  regiment  was  perfectly  correct.  You  will  please  to  collect  as  many  men  as  appear- 
ances will  justify,  until  the  enemy's  vessels  leave  the  mouth  of  the  river.  It  cannot  be 
expected  they  will  make  much  stay,  but  you  will  be  able  to  judge  of  their  movements 
by  to-morrow  morning.  I  shall  expect  you  will  give  me  immediate  notice  if  you  think 
more  force  is  wanted.  A.  Hall." 

With  this  invasion  as  a  foretaste  of  what  might  be  in  store  for  Rochester, 
it  is  no  wonder  that  great  alarm  was  felt  lest  the  British  admiral  might,  at  some 
day  not  far  distant,  land  quite  a  body  of  troops,  and  march  up  the  river.  The 
alarm  was  not  confined  to  this  particular  locality,  as  may  be  seen  by  the  follow- 
ing letter,  sent  on  the  8th  of  January,  18 14,  by  the  "committee  of  safety  and 
relief"  at  Canandaigua,  to  the  influential  inhabitants  of  New  York  city,  being 
addressed  to  DeWitt  Clinton,  then  mayor.  Colonel  Robert  Troup,  General 
Clarkson  and  others  :  — 

"Gentlemen:  Niagara  county  and  that  part  of  Genesee  county  which  lies  west  of 
Batavia  are  completely  depopulated.  All  the  settlements,  in  a  section  of  country  forty 
miles  square,  and  which  contained  more  than  12,000  souls,  are  effectually  .broken  up. 
These  facts  you  are  undoubtedly  acquainted  with ;  but  the  distresses  they  have  pro- 
duced, none  but  an  eye-witness  can  thoroughly  appreciate.  Our  roads  are  filled  with 
people,  many  of  whom  have  been  reduced  from  a  state  of  competence  and  good  pros- 
pects, to  the  last  degree  of  want  and  sorrow.  So  sudden  was  the  blow  by  which  they 
have  been  crushed  that  no  provision  could  be  made  either  to  eliide  or  to  meet  it.  The 
fugitives  from  Niagara  county,  especially,  were!  dispersed  under  circumstances  of  so 
much  terror  that  in  some  cases  mothers  find  themselves  wandering  with  strange  children 
and  children  are  seen  accompanied  by  such  as  have  no  other  sympathies  with  them 
than  those  of  common  sufferings.  Of  the  families  thus  separated,  all  the  members 
can  never  meet  again  in  this  life,  for  the  same  violence  that  has  made  them  beggars  has 

deprived  some  of  their  heads  and  others  of  their  branches The  inhabitants 

of  Canandaigua  have  made  large  contributions  for  their  relief,  in  money,  provisions  and 
clothing.  And  we  have  been  appointed,  among  other  things,  to  solicit  further  relief  for 
them  from  our  wealthy  and  liberal-minded  fellow-citizens.  In  pursuance  of  this 
appointment,  may  we  ask  you,  gentlemen,  to  interest  yourselves  particularly  in  their 
behalf?  We  believe  that  no  occasion  has  ever  occurred  in  our  country  which  presented 
stronger  claims  upon  individual  benevolence,  and  we  humbly  trust  that  whoever  is  will- 
ing to  answer  these  claims  will  always  entitle  himself  to  the  precious  reward  of  active 
charity." 

The  response  to  this  appeal  was  generous  and  prompt,  for  an  indorsement 
dated  January  24th  appears  on  the  letter,  stating  that  resolutions  proposed  by 
the  recorder  (Josiah  Ogden  Hofifman)  were  passed  unanimously  by  tfie  corpo- 
ration of  New  York,  granting  $3,000  for  the  relief  of  the  sufferers.  In  addition 
to  this,  the  legislature  on  the  8th  of  February  appropriated  $50,000  "for  the 
relief  of  the  indigent  sufferers  in  the  counties  of  Genesee  and  Niagara  in  con- 
sequence of  the  invasion  of  the  western  frontier  of  the  state,  including  the  Tus- 
carora  nation  of  Indians,  and  the  Canadian  refugees  —  the  money  to  be  distrib- 
uted by  Graham  Newell,  William  Wadsworth  and  Joseph  Ellicott." 


I04  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Provisions  were  now  made  in  earnest  for  repelling  the  invasion  which  was 
definitely  expected  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  the  precautions  were  taken 
none  too  soon.  Isaac  W.  Stone  was  commissioned  as  captain  of  the  dragoons, 
to  be  enlisted  for  six  months  as  volunteers,  under  command  of  General  Peter 
B.  Porter.  Hervey  Ely  and  Abelard  Reynolds  contracted  to  furnish  the  equip- 
ments, the  former,  to  provide  the  clothing  and  the  latter  the  saddlery,  all  to  be 
paid  for  when  the  soldiers  should  receive  their  pay  from  the  government  for 
their  services.  Enlistments  began  immediately,  but  it  did  not  take  long  to  find 
that  thirty-three  men  were  all  that  could  be  raised  in  the  village  itself  By  active, 
recruiting  among  the  surrounding  towns  seventeen  men  were  obtained,  and  the 
company  of  fifty  men  was  stationed  at  Charlotte,  Captain  Stone  being  promoted 
to  the  rank  of  major,  and  Francis  Brown  and  Elisha  Ely  elected  to  captain- 
cies. Before  they  started  for  their  destination,  word  was  received  that  Admiral 
Yeo,  with  a  fleet  of  thirteen  vessels,  had  appeared  at  Charlotte  and  dropped 
anchor.  Hastily  equipping  themselves  with  muskets  that  had  been  lodged  with 
Hervey  Ely  &  Co.,  and  leaving  behind  them  one  of  their  number  who  refused 
to  go,  and  another  who  was  deputed  to  remain  behind  and  take  off  the  women 
and  children  in  a  cart  if  the  enemy  approached  too  near,  they  hurried  away. 
Halting  for  a  time  near  Deep  hollow,  beside  the  lower  falls,  they  set  to  work  on 
a  breastwork  already  begun,  which  was  called  Fort  Bender,  and  upon  the  bat- 
tery of  this  they  planted  a  four-pounder  cannon,  to  intimidate,  if  not  to  resist 
the  enemy,  in  case  they  should  attempt  a  landing  at  that  point  from  small  boats, 
or,  as  Turner  says,  "to  impede  the  crossing,  by  the  invaders,  of  the  bridge  over 
Deep  hollow."  After  completing  this  work  of  military  engineering,  which  con- 
sisted mainly  of  fallen  trees,  they  started  again,  long  after  nightfall,  and,  after 
marching  in  the  rain  and  through  deep  mud,  they  reached  Charlotte  at  two 
o'clock  in  the  morning.  Here  they  found  that  further  measures  of  defense  had 
been  already  taken.  An  eighteen-pounder  —  which,  as  well  as  the  piece  of 
heavy  ordnance  already  mentioned,  had  been  sent  from  Canandaigua  on  the 
order  of  General  Porter,  the  commander  of  the  forces  in  this  part  of  the  state  — 
had  been  mounted  on  the  only  fortification  in  the  place,  a  breastwork  upon  the 
bluff  near  the  old  hotel,  so  located  as  to  command  the  road  leading  up  the  bank 
from  the  wharf,  and  composed  of  two  tiers  of  ship  timber,  with  the  space  be- 
tween filled  in  with  barn  refuse.  Other  troops  were  already  there,  consisting 
of  a  volunteer  company  under  Captain  Rowe,  from  Gates  and  Greece,  while 
Colonel  Atkinson's  regiment,  made  up  from  other  towns  in  the  county,  were 
either  there  previously  or  came  up  during  the  day.  Nevertheless  the  Rochester 
contingent  was  evidently  the  head  and  front  of  the  American  army  at  that 
place  on  the  15th  of  May.  O'Rielly,  in  his  history  of  Rochester,  remarks: 
"Though  the  equipments  and  discipline  of  these  troops  would  not  form  a  brill- 
iant picture  for  a  warHke  eye,  their  very  awkwardness  in  those  points,  coupled, 
as  it  was,  with  their  sagacity  and  courage,  accomplished   more,  perhaps,  than 


Projected' Invasion  of  Charlotte;  105 

could  have  been  effected  by  a  larger  force  of  regular  troops  bedizened  with  the 
trappings  of  military  pomp.  The  militia  thus  hastily  collected  were  marched 
and  counter-marched,  disappearing  in  the  woods  at  one  point  and  suddenly 
emerging  elsewhere,  so  as  to  impress  the  enemy  with  the  belief  that  the  force 
collected  for  the  defense  was  far  greater  than  it  actually  was."  So  impatient 
were  these  men  to  meet  the  invading  veterans  that  early  in  the  morning,  before 
any  demonstrations  were  made  from  the  fleet  toward  the  shore,  a  volunteer 
party,  consisting  of  Captain  Ely,  Abelard  Reynolds  and  Jehiel  Barnard,  went 
out  in  an  old  boat  that  had  been  used  as  a  lighter,  in  the  midst  of  a  heav)''  fog, 
The  mist  suddenly  clearing  away,  they  found  themselves  within  range  of  the 
guns  of  the  whole,  British  fleet,  so  that  a  gunboat  darted  out  after  them  and 
they  had  all  they  could  do  to  make  their  escape.  The  circumstances  immedi- 
ately succeeding  we  will  let  O'Rielly  tell  in  his  own  words:  — 

"An  officer  with  a  flag  of  truce  was  sent  from  the  British  fleet.  A  militia  officer 
marched  down,  with  ten  of  the  most  soldier-like  men,  to  receive  him  on  Lighthouse 
point.  These  militiamen  carried  their  guns  as  nearly  upright  as  might  be  consistent 
with  their  plan  of  being  ready  for  action  by  keeping  hold  of  the  triggers !  The  British 
officer  was  astonished.  He  looked  unutterable  things.  '  Sir,'  said  he,  '  do  you  receive 
a  flag  of  truce  under  arms,  with  cocked  triggers?'  'Excuse  me,  excuse  me,  sir;  we 
backwoodsmen  are  not  well  versed  in  military  tactics,'  replied  the  American  officer,  who 
promptly  sought  to  rectify  his  error  by  ordering  his  men  to  '  ground  arms.'  The  Briton 
was  still  more  astonished,  and,  after  delivering  a  brief  message,  immediately  departed 
for  his  fleet,  indicating  by  his  countenance  a  suspicion  that  the  ignorance  of  tactics 
which  he  had  witnessed  was  all  feigned  for  the  occasion,  so  as  to  deceive  the  British 
commodore  into  a  snare.  Shortly  afterward,  the  same  day,  another  officer  came  ashore 
with  a  flag  of  truce  for  a  further  parley,  as  the  British  were  evidently  too  sus- 
picious of  stratagem  to  attempt  a  hostile  landing  if  there  was  any  possibility  of  com- 
promising for  the  spoils.  Captain  Francis  Brown  was  deputed  with  a  guard  to  receive 
the  last  flag  of  truce.  The  British  officer  looked  suspiciously  upon  him  and  upon  his 
guard,  and,  after  some  conversation,  familiarly  grasped  the  pantaloons  of  Captain 
Brown  about  the  knee,  remarking,  as  he  firmly  handled  it,  '  Your  cloth  is  too  good  to 
be  si)oiled  by  such  a  bungling  tailor,'  alluding  to  the  width  and  clumsy  aspect  of  that 
garment.  Brown  was  quickwitted  as  well  as  resolute,  and  replied  jocosely  that  he  was 
'  prevented  from  dressing  fashionably  by  his  haste  that  morning  to  receive  such  dis- 
tinguished visitors  I '  The  Briton  obviously  imagined  that  Brown  was  a  regular  officer 
of  the  American  army,  whose  regimentals  were  masked  by  clumsy  overclothes.  The 
proposition  was  then  made  that  if  the  Americans  would  deliver  up  the  provisions  and 
military  stores  which  might  be  in  and  around  Rochester  and  Charlotte,  Sir  James  Yeo 
would  spare  the  settlements  from  destruction.  'Will  you  comply  with  the  offisr  ? ' 
'  Blood  knee-deep  first !  '  was  the  emphatic  reply  of  Francis  Brown." 

Turner  in  describing  the  events  of  the  day,  in  his  History  of  the  Phelps  & 
Gorham  Purchase,  follows  quite  closely  the  diary  or  "memoirs"  of  Mr.  Rey- 
nolds. He  makes  no  mention  of  the  melodramatic  incident  described  above, 
but  says  that  the  purpose  of  the  flag  of  truce  was  to  tender  the  assurance  of 
Sir  James  Yeo  that  if  all  the  public  property  were  surrendered,  private  prop- 
erty should  be  respected. 


io6  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

"  To  favor  his  mission  he  presented  a  paper  signed  by  several  citizens  of  Oswego, 
the  purport  of  which  was  that  as  the  government  had  left  large  quantities  of  stores  and 
munitions  at  that  place,  without  any  adequate  force  to  protect  them,  they  had  concluded 
not  to  risk  their  lives  and  property  in  the  defense.  The  message  and  the  paper  were  for- 
warded to  Captain  Stone,  who  decided  at  once  that  the  citizen  soldiers  assembled  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Genesee  river  could  not  follow  the  precedent-  of  their  countrymen  at 
Oswego.  '  Go  back  and  tell  the  officer,'  said  he,  '  that  he  may  say  to  Sir  James  Yeo 
that  any  public  property  that  may  be  here  is  in  the  hands  of  those  who  will  defend  it.' 
Soon  after  this,  a  gun-boat,  sloop-rigged,  of  from  ninety  to  one  hundred  tons  burden, 
sailed  out  from  the  fleet,  approached  the  mouth  of  the  river  and  fired  a  six-pound  shot, 
which  compliment  was  returned  from  the  eighteen-pgunder  on  the  American  battery. 
The  gun-boat  then  fired  fifteen  or  twenty-six  eight-pound  shots,  but  one  of  them,  strik- 
ing the  store-house,  doing  any  damage.  Soon  after  this  occurrence  Peter  B.  Porter 
arrived  and  assumed  command.  Another  flag  of  truce  came  from  the  British  fleet  at  4 
o'clock  p.  m.,  bringing  a  peremptory  demand  from  Sir  James  Yeo  that  the  public  prop- 
erty be  delivered  up,  and  the  threat  that,  if  his  demand  was  not  complied  with,  he 
would,  make  a  landing  with  his  marines  and  400  Indians.  To  this  General  Porter  re- 
plied, through  his  aid.  Major  Noon,  that  he  would  endeavor  to  take  care  of  any  force 
that  Sir  James  felt  disposed  to  send  on  shore,  accompanying  the  reply  with  an  intima- 
tion that  a  third  flag  of  truce,  sent  upon  the  same  errand,  could  not  be  respected." 

Thus  ended  the  negotiations  and  the  projected  invasion,  except  that  for  a 
few  hours  afterward  several  heavy  balls  were  thrown,  harmlessly,  from  the 
fleet,  many  of  which  missiles  were  picked  up  arid  used  afterward  for  breaking 
stones  in  the  erection  of  public  buildings.  For  the  next  two  or  three  days 
troops  kept  coming  into  Charlotte,  but  the  number  never  exceeded  800,  a  force 
utterly  inadequate  to  cope  with  the  body  of  men  that  the  English  admiral  could 
have  landed  had  he  chosen  to  do  so.  Why  he  retreated  without  action  is  a 
matter  of  conjecture,  there  being  only  two  plausible  suppositions — one,  that 
he  considered  the  victory,  though  certain,  to  be  a  barren  one,  as  the  amount 
of  property  here  was  very  small,  and  the  other  that  he  w^s  really  deceived,  by 
some  clevei-  marloeuvres  that  were  preformed  by  our  militiamen,  into  a  serious 
over-estimate  of  the  strength  opposed  to  him. 

Rochester's  warlike  experience  being  thus  happily  concluded,  we  may  turn 
our  attention,  as  the  settlers  turned  theirs,  to  the  consideration  of  peaceful  pur- 
suits. Emigration  soon  set  in  with  redoubled  spirit,  and  in  18 15  the  prosperity 
of  the  hamlet  greatly  increased.  Mail  facilities  received  an  unwonted  impetus. 
Samuel  Hildreth,  of  Pittsford,  began  running  a  stage  and  carrying  the  mail 
twice  a  week  between  Canandaigua  and  Rochester,  a  distance  of  twenty-eight 
miles,  and  a  private  weekly  mail  route  was  established  between  Rochester  and 
Lewiston,  dependent  for  its  support  on  the  income  of  the  post-offices  along  the 
route.  In  this  year  was  erected  the  first  building  here  of  any  magnitude — the 
old  "red  mill,"  on  West  Main  street,  near  Aqueduct — which  was  put  up  by 
Hervey  Ely  and  Josiah  Bissell,  assisted,  in  the  elevation  of  the  roof-timbers,  by 
every  man  and  boy  in  the  place;  it  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1837.  The  first 
wedding  in  tlie  settlement  was  on  October  8th,  when  Delia,  daughter  of  Ham- 


Incidents  of  i8i6.  107 


let  Scraiitom,  was  married  to  Jehiel  Barnard,  in  a  house  on  the  top  of  a  hill  on 
Brown  street,  next  to  where  the  school  of  St.  Patrick's  parish  now  stands;  Mrs. 
Barnard  lived  to  a  very  advanced  age,  and  died  in  this  city  in  1881.  Abelard 
Reynolds  opened  the  first  tavern  on  the  west  side;  the  first  religious  society  was 
organised,  consisting  of  sixteen  members;  the  first  book  store  was  opened,  op- 
posite the  Arcade,  by  Horace  L.  Sill  and  George  G.  Sill;  the  Genesee  Cotton 
Manufacturing  company  was  organised  and  work  was  begun  on  the  factory,  at 
the  foot  of  Factory  street,  completed  in  the  following  spring,  which  ran  1,392 
spindles,  contained  the  only  cotton  machinery  west  of  Whitestown  and  had  the 
first  bell  hung  west  of  the  Genesee  river;  the  steady  purchase  of  produce  from 
the  surrounding  country  began;  in  December  the  first  census  was  taken,  show- 
ing a  population  of  33 1. 

The  year  1S16  witnessed  a  variety  of  stirring  incidents,  of  which  the  follow- 
ing are  worth  recording :  Rev.  Comfort  Williams  was  installed  as  pastor  of  the 
Presbyterian  congregation,  being  the  first  clergyman  settled  here ;  Matthew 
and  Francis  Brown  finished  the  mill  race  which  still  bears  their  name — eighty- 
four  rods  in  length,  thirty  feet  wide  and  three  feet  deep,  blasting  through  rock 
much  of  the  way ;  Colonel  Rochester,  then  living  in  Bloomfield  (whither  he  had 
removed  after  residing  in  Dansville),  built  for  his  residence  a  frame  structure, 
which  afterward  became  the  Break  o'  Day  house,  on  Exchange  street,  but  he 
did  not  move  into  it  for  two  years,  as  Dr.  Levi  Ward,  who  then  came  here  from  ' 
Bergen,  occupied  it  till  18 18,  when  Colonel  Rochester  settled  permanently  in 
the  village  which  bore  his  name  ;  Caleb  Lyon  began  the  settlement  of  Carthage; 
the  Buffalo  road  was  surveyed  and  laid  out  to  Batavia ;  the:  first  trees  for  orna- 
ment appeared,  sugar  maples  set  out  on  the  west  side  of  Washington  street  by 
Hervey  Ely  and  John  G.  Bond  ;  the  first  newspaper  was  established,  a  weekly, 
called  the  Gazette,  published  by  Augustine  G.  Dauby  and  John  P.  Sheldon, 
afterward  by  Derick  and  Levi  W.  Sibley,  and  still  later  by  Edwin  Scrantom  as 
the  Monroe  Republican,  after  which  it  became  and  is  now  the  weekly  edition 
of  the  Union  &  Advertiser;  the  summer  was  one  of  the  coldest  ever  known  in 
this  part  of  the  country,  before  or  afterward,  a  hard  frost  on  the  i6th  of  August 
destroying  all  the  growing  crops  and  making  a  distressing  scarcity  the  next 
winter. 

The  late  Judge  Moses  Chapin  has  left  a  sketch  of  the  future  city  in  this 
year,  which  marks  the  close  of  its  embryonic  epoch,  and  for  that  reason  it  may 
be  given  entire,  except  as  changes  are  made  in  it  to  conform  to  the  alterations 
that  have  taken  place  since  1847,  when  it  was  written:  — 

"The  principal  settlement  on  West  Main  street  was  between  the  Powers  block  and 
the  bridge  over  the  Genesee.  'J'he  buildings  were  rows  of  small  shops  on  each  side  of 
the  street,  mostly  a  story  and  a  half  high.  Here  and  there  was  a  building  further  west 
on  that  street,  and  the  brush  had  lately  been  burned  to  clear  the  street  along  in  front  of 
where  the  court-house  now  stands.  A  frog-pond  occupied  a  part  of  the  court-house 
yard  at  the  base  of  a  high  stone  ledge.     From  the  bathing-house  on  the  west  side  was 


io8  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

a  log  causeway  over  a  deep  swamp,  in  which  the  forest  trees  were  then  standing;  be- 
yond Washington  street  west  there  was  an  unbroken  forest.  State  street  had  been 
cleared  of  trees,  but  the  stumps  were  remaining.  The  forest  came  almost  to  the  west 
line  of  the  street,  between  Allen  and  Brown  streets.  On  the  west  side  of  Exchange 
street  a  small  frame  building  stood  perched  on  a  high  ledge  of  stone,  where  William 
AUing's  stationery  store  was  afterward  located;  further  west  was  a  dwelling-house  back 
of  where  the  Bank  of  Monroe  now  stands ;  then  on  the  south  was  occasionally  a  smal[ 
building.  On  the  other  side  of  the  street  were  no  buildings.  A  yard  for  saw-logs 
occupied  the  ground  of  Child's  basin.  On  North  Fitzhugh  street  there  was  no  settle- 
ment north  of  the  present  site  of  the  Baptist  church,  and  cart-tracks  then  led  north  to 
adjacent  woods.  From  Sophia  street,  on  west  beyond  Washington,  was  an  ash  swamp, 
filled  with  water  the  most  of  the  year.  '  The  long,  pendent  moss  from  the  boughs  of  the 
trees  in  this  swamp  presented  a  picturesque  appearance.  The  land  south  of  Troup 
street  was  a  forest.  On  the  east  side  of  the  river  was  a  cluster  of  houses  on  Main  and 
South  St.  Paul  streets.  From  Clinton  street  east,  from  Mortimer  north  and  from  Jack- 
son south  was  mostly  forest.  A  black  walnut  tree  of  magnificent  proportions  stood  in 
the  north  part  of  Dublin,  not  far  northwest  from  the  falls,  and  attracted  many  visitors." 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

ROCHESTER  AS  A  VILLAGE. 

Its  Incorporation  in  1817  —  The  First  Village  Election  —  The  First  Church  Built  —  The  Com- 
merce with  Canada  —  Settlement  of  Carthage  —  The  Great  Bridge  there  —  Its  Fall,  and  that  of  Other 
Bridges  —  Surveys  for  the  Erie  Canal  —  Monroe  County  Erected  —  Building  of  the  Old  Aqueduct  — 
The  Old  .Court-House  —  John  Quincy  Adams. 

TT7E  have  seen  the  troubles  through  which  our  early  settlers  passed — the 
\\  wasting  disease,  the  difficulty  of  communication,  the  alarm  caused  by 
the  menacing  army  of  the  British.  These  surmounted,  and  the  further  growth 
of  the  place  being  reasonably  assured,  it  seemed  that  the  collection  of  buildings, 
of  stores,  factories  and  dwelling-houses,  should  be  bound  together  by  corporate 
ties.  Accordingly  the  legislature  passed  an  act  in  April,  181 7,  incorporating 
the  village  of  Rochesterville,  thus  placing  a  suffix,  which  was  probably  consid- 
ered a  mark  of  dignity,  to  the  shorter  name  of  Rochester,  which  the  place  had 
previously  borne.  The  village  belonged,  until  its  incorporation  as  a  city,  to 
the  towns  of  Gates  and  Brighton,  and  lay  in  the  counties  of  Genesee  and  On- 
tario. On  the  5th  of  May  the  village  election  was  held,  at  which  the  five  trus- 
tees provided  for  in  the  charter  were  chosen,  Francis  Brown,  Daniel  Mack, 
William  Cobb,  Everard  Peck  and  Jehiel  Barnard  being  the  persons  for  whom 
tlie  votes  of  the  villagers  were  cast.  Of  these  Francis  Brown  was  chosen  pres- 
ident of  the  board — and  therefore  of  the  village — and  Hastings  R.  Bender  was 
elected  clerk,  Frederick  F.   Backus  being  subsequently   appointed    treasurer. 


Improvements  Following  Incorporation  as  a  Village.       109 

The  assessors  for  that  year  were  Isaac  Colvin,  Hastings  R.  Bender  and  Daniel 
D.  Hatch,  with  Ralph  Lester  as  collector  and  constable.  Thus  fairly  launched 
into  corporate  life,  the  village  took  a  new  start  in  prosperity,  and  with  each 
succeeding  year  advances  were  made  that  indicated  a  determination  on  the  part 
of  those  then  settled  here  to  make  the  best  of  their  surroundings,  and  extract 
from  nature  all  the  assistance  that  could  be  secured  to  their  strong  hands  and 
firm  hearts,  while  at  the  same  time  the  continued  stream  of  westward  emigra 
tion,  which  dropped  many  of  its  components  at  this  point,  made  the  task 
lighter  for  each,  though  the  aggregate  became  constantly  heavier.  In  addition 
to  those  who  came  to  locate  permanently,  many  were  attracted  hither  tempo- 
rarily by  the  prospects  of  advantage  in  trade.  The  village  had  by  this  time 
become  the  principal  wheat  market  for  the  whole  valley  of  the  Genesee,  so  that 
the  continued  influx  of  teams  coming  in  with  this  and  other  grains  made  a 
scene  of  activity  and  enterprise,  heightened  by  the  constant  buying,  selling  and 
bartering  at  the  various  stores.  Wheat  rose  to  $2.25  per  bushel,  but  the 
millers  took  all  that  was  offered,  and  an  easy  sale  was  found  for  the  flour. 
Buildings  of  all  kinds  increased  in  number,  the  most  important  erected  in  1817 
being  the  church  that  was  built  on  Carroll  street  (now  State)  for  the  Presby- 
terian society,  the  first  house  for  public  worship  in  this  neighborhood.  In  spite 
of  all  the  prosperity,  it  must  not  be  supposed  that  Rochesterville  was  yet*out 
of  the  woods.  On  the  contrary,  the  forest  still  inclosed  it  on  every  hand,  on 
each  side  of  the  Genesee,  for  when  Elisha  Johnson  purchased  of  Enos  Stone, 
in  this  year,  eighty  acres  of  his  farm  adjoining  the  river  on  the  east  side,  the 
back  land  of  the  purchase  was  the  primeval  wood.  Mr.  Johnson  surveyed  the 
whole  into  a  village  plat,  constructed  a  dam  across  the  river,  and  excavated  a 
large  mill  canal  from  thence  to  the  bridge,  four  feet  deep,  sixty  feet  wide,  and 
nearly  seventy  rods  in  length,  thus  opening,  at  an  expense  of  $12,000,  exten- 
sive water  privileges,  of  which  William  Atkinson,  for  one,  immediately  availed 
himself,  building  on  this  private  canal  the  "yellow  mill,"  with  three  run  of 
stones.  The  venerable  Schuyler  Moses,  now  living  on  Chestnut  street,  worked 
on  the  erection  of  this  mill.  Another  important  edifice  was  the  old  Mansion 
House,  built  by  D.  K.  Cartter  and  Abner  Hollister,  the  first  three-story  build- 
ing erected  here.  Precautions  were  taken,  in  a  thorough  and  systematic  man- 
ner, even  at  this  early  date,  against  the  destruction  of  the  property  of  the  village 
by  fire,  and  every  citizen  had  to  be  supplied  with  fire  buckets,  besides  which 
arrangements  were  made  for  hooks,  ladders  and  other  apparatus  included  in 
the  paraphernalia  of  those  days.  A  sketch  of  the  fire  department  from  that  time 
to  this  is  given  further  on.  Of  course,  the  lighter  accomplishments,  as  well  as 
the  more  solid  branches  of  industry,  must  be  cultivated,  and  therefore  an  instru- 
mental band  was  formed  at  this  time,  the  first  meeting  being  held  at  Reynolds's 
tavern,  when  arrangements  were  made  to  procure  instruments  from  Utica. 
Preston  Smith  was  chosen  leader,  and  the  members  of  the  musical  organisation 


I  lo  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

who  played  under  him  were  Joseph  Strong,  Bradford  King,  Edwin  Scrantom, 

Jehiel  Barnard,  Perkins,  L.  L.  Miller,  James  Caldwell,  Jedediah  Stafford, 

H.  T.  McGeorge,  Nathaniel  T.  Rochester,  Selkreg,  Myron  Strong,  Eras- 

tus  Cook  (who  brought  the  first  piano  to  Rochester),  Horace  L.  Sill,  Alfred 
Judson,  Alpheus  Bingham,  Leyi  W.  Sibley  and  Isaac  Loomis, 

Not  alone  on  land  but  on  water  did  the  new  village  make  its  influence  felt,  for 
the  steamboat  Ontario  now  began  to  make  regular  trips  from  Sackett's  Harbor  to 
Lewiston,  stopping  at  the  port  of  Genesee,  and  to  make  connection  with  the 
vessel  several  craft  were  kept  busy  transporting  produce  and  manufactured  ar-  ^ 
tides  down  the  river,  besides  which  many  boats*were  at  frequent  intervals  com- 
ing up  to  Hanford's  Landing  from  ports  below.  No  statement  is  obtainable  of 
the  commerce  for  1817,  but  in  the  next  year  the  exports  from  the  Genesee 
river  down  the  lake  to  the  Canada  market,  during  the  season  of  navigation, 
were  26,000  barrels  of  flour,  3,653  barrels  of  pot  and  pearl  ashes,  1,173  barrels 
of  pork,  190  barrels  of  whisky,  214,000  double  butt  staves,  which  made  a  total 
valuation  of  $380,000.  ,  That  was  not  a  bad  showing  for  the  foreign  commerce 
of  a  little  village  during  its  first  full  year  of  corporate  existence,  and  18 19  showed 
a  fair  increase  upon  that,  for  the  exports  to  Canada  then  amounted  to  $400,000. 

The  year  181 8  was  not  remarkable  for  any  thrilling  events  in  the  vil- 
lage or  any  striking  advance  in  its  material  prosperity,  but  the  strictest  atten- 
tion was  paid  to  the  devising  and  enforcing  of  ordinances  for  the  promotion  of 
health,  the  security  of  property  and  the  convenience,  as  well  as  safety,  of  the 
people.  Matthew  Brown,  jr.,  Roswell  Hart,  William  P.  Sherman,  Daniel  Mack 
and  H.  R.  Bender  were  appointed  as  street  patrol,  and  in  their  persons  the  maj- 
esty of  the  law  was  duly  respected.  The  second  weekly  newspaper  was  estab- 
lished—  the  Rochester  TelcgrapJi  (not  Rochestervillc,  for  the  appendix  does  not 
seem  to  have  been  generally  used  even  when  it  was  officially  a  part  of  the  name 
of  the  place),  edited,  published  and  printed  by  Everard  Peck  &  Co.,  the  first 
number  appearing  on  the  7th  of  July  in  this  year.  For  the  manufacture  of  the 
material  used  by  the  two  journals  Gilman  and  Sibley  built  a  paper-mill  on  the 
east  side,  near  Atkinson's  flour  mill.  In  September  the  second  census  was 
taken,  showing  a  population  of  1,049.  l^^t  however  little  of  interest  or  excite- 
ment took  place  in  the  proximity  of  the  two  cataracts  then  known  as  the  Upper 
and  Middle  falls — the  latter  of  which  now  bears  the  name  of  the  former,  while 
the  continued  deportation  of  the  rock  from  the  river  bed  above  and  below  the 
Court  street  bridge  has  destroyed  the  precipice  of  fifteen  feet  for  the  "upper" 
falls  to  flow  over — enough  was  going  on  at  the  Lower  falls  to  call  our  attention 
in  that  direction.  The  settlement  then  known  as  Carthage — an  appellation 
borne  by  that  locality  long  after  it  was  embraced  within  the  city  limits,  by  which 
it  was  generally  designated  till  a  very  few  years  ago — was  a  rival  of  Rochester, 
or  rather  it  was  hoped  by  those  living  in  the  vicinity  of  the  lower  falls  and  on 
the  east  side  of  the  river  that  that  point  would  be  the  very  center  of  the  future 


(^  §■  e^":^'^^^  <tyc  ty/(_ 


The  Bridge  Between  Rochester  and  Carthage.  i  i  i 

city  which  they  felt  sure  was  to  grpw  up  somewhere  in  the  neighborhood.  Ca- 
leb Lyon,  who  was  probably  the  first  settler  there,  had  been  on  the  ground  for 
several  years,  had  made  a  small  opening  in  the  forest  and  had  erected  a  number  of 
log  cabins,  but  the  few  families  upon  the  tract  were  mostly  squatters,  and  Elisha  B. 
Strong,  from  Windsor,  Conn.,  may  be  considered  the  real  pioneer — in  fact, 
almost  the  "patroon"  of  the  place.  In  company  with  Elisha  Beach  he  pur- 
chased, in  1 8 1 6, 1 ,000  acres  embracing  the  site  of  Carthage  and  made  the  most  de- 
termined efforts  to  build  up  a  town  that  should  be  of  enduring  vitality.  A  pub- 
lic house  was  erected,  kept  by  Ebenezer  Spear ;  stores  were  opened  for  business  ; 
at  least  one  lawyer,  Levi  H.  Clark,-  had  his  office  there,  and  Strong  and  Al- 
bright built,  at  the  upper  step  of  the  falls,  a  flour  mill  with  four  run  of  stones. 
In  spite  of  all  this  it  was  evident  that  more  must  be  done;  one  further  act  was 
necessary — the  spanning  of  the  Genesee  and  the  uniting  of  the  Ridge  road, 
which  was  broken  by  the  gorge  of  the  river.  For  that  purpose  a  stock  com- 
pany was  formed  by  Messrs.  Strong,  Beach  and  Albright,  together  with  Heman 
Norton,  for  the  erection  of  a  bridge  at  that  point,  and  at  the  same  time — as  the 
only  highway  leading  from  the  Brighton  road  to  Carthage  was  the  "Merchants' 
road,"  which  had  been  cut  by  merchants  of  Canandaigua  several  years  before — 
Franklin  street  was  laid  out.  People  who  have  wondered  why  that  thoroughfare 
was  put  through  at  so  unaccountable  an  angle  with  the  contiguous  streets  will  be 
satisfied  with  the  explanation  that  it  was  done  by  the  modern  Carthaginians 
with  the  hope  of  diverting  the  tide  of  westward  emigration  from  the  "Buffalo 
road"  and  turning  it  in  their  direction.  The  bridge  was  begun  in  May,  1818, 
and  from,  the  beginning  it  attracted  far  more  than  local  attention,  though  the  re- 
marks were  not  always  unmixed  with  bitterness.  For  instance,  some  one  pur- 
porting to  be  a  "traveler  in  the  West"  wrote  at  the  time  to  the  New  York 
Spectator,  pronouncing  the  structure  "a  monument  of  folly"  and  describing  not 
only  its  projectors  but  the  inhabitants  of  Rochester  as  a  class  as  "bankrupts  and 
adventurers  without  capital."  To  this  ill-natured  scribe  replied  a  resident  of 
Carthage,  in  a  long  letter  to  the  New  York  Evening  Post,  demonstrating  the 
utility  of  the  work  and  vindicating  the  business  integrity  of  the  dwellers  by  the 
Genesee.  As  the  edifice  approached  completion  it  became  evident  that  it  was 
to  be  one  of  the  most  admirable  of  its  kind  in  existence,  a  writer  in  the  Catskill 
Recorder  observing  that  "it  will  almost  rank  with  one  of  the  wonders  of  the 
world."  The  bridge  <vas  finished  before  the  winter  was  over,  and  how  far  the 
laudation  quoted  above  was  justified  by  the  facts  may  be  seen  by  the  follow- 
ing, taken  from  the  Rochester  Telegraph  o{Y&hr\x^xy   i6th,  1819:  — 

"  It  is  with  pleasure  that  we  announce  to  the  public  that  the  Carthage  bridge  is  com- 
pleted and  that  its  strength  has  been  successfully  tested  by  the  authority  designated  in 
its  charter  of  incorporation.  It  consists  of  an  entire  arch  thrown  across  the  Genesee 
river,  the  chord  of  which  is  352  and  -^^  feet  and  the  versed  sine  fifty-four  feet.  By  a 
recent  and  accurate  admeasurement  it  is  found  that  the  summit  of  the  arch  is  196  feet 
above  the  surface  of  the  water.     It  is  718  feet  in  length  and  thirty  feet  in  width,  be- 


112  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

sides  four  large  elbow  braces  placed  at  the  extrenjities  of  the  arch  and  projecting  fifteen 
feet  on  each  side  of  it,  thereby  presenting  a  resistance  to  any  lateral  pressure  or  casualty 
equal  to  a  width  of  sixty  feet.  The  travel  passes  upon  the  crown  of  the  arch,  which 
consists  of  nine  ribs,  two  feet  and  four  inches  thick,  connected  by  braced  levelers  above 
and  below  and  secured  by  nearly  800  strong  bolts.  The  feet  of  the  arch  rest  upon  solid 
rock  about  sixty  feet  below  the  surface  of  the  upper  bank,  and  the  whole  structure  is 
braced  and  bound  together  in  a  manner  so  compact  as  to  disarm  even  cavil  of  its  doubts. 
The  arch  contains  more  than  200  tons  and  can  sustain  any  weight  that  ordinary  travel 
ma>  bring  upon  it.  Loaded  teams  of  more  than  thirteen  tons  passed  over  it  together  a 
few  days  since  and  produced  very  little  perceptible  tremor.  Great  credit  is  due  to  the 
contractors,  Messrs.  Brainard  and  Chapman,  for  their  persevering  and  unremitted  efforts 
in  accomplishing  this  stupendous  work.  It  was  erected  upon  a  frame  called  the  sup- 
porter or  false  bridge.  The  Genesee  river  flows  under  the  bridge  with  an  impetuous 
current  and  is  compressed  to  the  width  of  about  120  feet.  This  width  was  crossed  by 
commencing  a  frame  on  each  side  near  the  margin  and  causing  the  weight  behind  to 
sustain  the  bents  progressively  bending  over  the  water,  which  meeting  at  the  top  formed 
a  Gothic  arch  over  the  stream,  the  vertex  of  which  was  about  twenty  feet  below  the 
present  floor  of  the  bridge.  Though  now  purposely  disconnected  from  the  bridge,  the 
Gothic  arch  still  stands  underneath  the  Roman  and  is  esteemed  by  architects,  in  point 
of  mechanical  ingenuity,  as  great  a  curiosity  as  the  bridge  itself  The  bridge  contains 
69,513  feet  of  timber,  running  measure,  in  addition  to  20,806  feet  of  timber  contained 
in  the  false  bridge  or  supporter.  All  this  has  been  effected  by  the  labor  of  somewhat 
less  (upon  an  average)  than  twenty-two  workmen,  within  the  short  space  of  nine  months. 
Were  this  fact  told  in  Europe  it  would  only  excite  the  smile  of  incredulity.  The  bridge 
qt  Schffahausen  in  Switzerland,  which  for  almost  half  a  century  was  regarded  as  the 
pride  of  the  eastern  hemisphere,  was  built,  we  are  informed,  in  a  little  less  than  three 
years,  and  was  the  longest  arch  in  Europe.  It  was  but  twelve  feet  longer  than  the 
bridge  at  Carthage  (admitting  that  it  derived  no  support  from  a  pier  in  the  center),  was 
only  eighteen  feet  wide  and  of  ordinary  and  convenient  height.  It  was  destroyed  dur- 
ing the  French  revolution,  and  no  entire  arch  is  known  at  present  in  the  old  world  to 
exceed  240  feet  span.  The  most  lofty  single  arch  in  Europe  is  in  England,  over  the 
river  Wear,  at  Sunderland,  which  falls  short  of  the  bridge  at  Carthage  116  feet  in  the 
length  of  the  span  and  ninety-six  feet  in  the  height  of  the  arch.  The  bridge  at  Car- 
thage may  therefore  be  pronounced  unrivaled  in  its  combined  dimensions,  strength  and 
beauty,  by  any  structure  of  the  kind  in  Europe  or  America.  The  scenery  around  it  is 
picturesque  and  sublime ;  within  view  from  it  are  three  waterfalls  of  the  Genesee,  one 
of  which  has  105  feet  perpendicular  descent.  The  stupendous  banks,  the  mills  and  ma- 
chinery, the  forest  yielding  to  the  industry  of  a  rising  village,  and  the  navigable  waters 
not  100  rods  below  it  are  calculated  to  fill  the  mind  of  a  generous  beholder  with  sur- 
prise and  satisfaction.  Particularly  is  this  the  case  when  the  utility  of  the  bridge  is  re- 
garded in  connection  with  its  extent.  It  presents  the  nearest  route  from  Canandaigua 
to  Lewiston,  it  connects  the  points  at  the  great  Ridge  road,  it  opens  to  the  counties  of 
Genesee  and  Niagara  a  direct  communication  with  the  water  privileges  at  the  lower 
falls  and  the  head  of  navigation  on  the  river,  and  renders  the  village  of  Carthage  ac- 
cessible and  convenient,  as  a  thoroughfare  from  the  east,  the  west  and  the  north.'' 

The  bridge  was  guaranteed,  by  the  contractors,  to  stand  for  a  year  and  a  day, 
and  it  is  somewhat  singular  that  a  great  proportion  of  those  inhabitants  of  the 
city  who  have  had  any  idea  at  all  about  the  matter  have  always  supposed  that 


Events  of  1819 — The  Erie  Canal.  113 

it  lasted  for  exactly  that  time,  the  tradition  being  so  firmly  established  that 
more  than  one  history  has  repeated  the  statement.  It  stood  for  more  than  one 
year  and  three  months,  giving  way  on  the  22d  of  May,  1820,  at  a  moment 
when  there  was  no  weight  upon  it,  the  great  mass  of  timber  not  being  suffi- 
ciently braced  to  pi'event  the  springing  upward  of  the  arch.  As  it  sank  into 
the  flood  below,  the  hopes  of  Carthage  sank  with  it.  Efforts  were  made  to  re- 
pair the  loss,  but  they  only  served  to  retard  the  decay  of  the  settlement ;  imme- 
diately after  its  destruction  another  bridge  was  built  upon  piers,  about  a  hundred 
rods  south  of  the  former  and  on  a  lower  level ;  a  few  years  subsequently  another 
was  erected  which  stood  till  1835.  In  1856  the  City  erected,  at  a  cost  of  $25,- 
©00,  a  second  suspension  bridge  on  the  site  of  the  first,  which  was  constructed- 
on  a  novel  principle  and  one  that  seemed  injudicious  to  most  persons  other  than 
the  architect.  At  either  end  of  the  bridge  stood  two  columns,  each  one  a  combi- 
nation of  four  hollow  cylinders  or  tubes  of  cast  iron,  screwed  together  by  flanges 
and  bound  and  braced  with  wrought  irqn  rods.  These  columns,  about  ninety 
feet  in  height,  rose  from  the  rocky  terrace  below  the  high  bank  and  served  as 
towers  to  support  the  wire  cables  that  were  anchored  beyond  them.  It  had 
stood  for  about  seven  months  when  one  night  in  April,  1857,  ^  very  heavy,  wet 
snow  fell,  to  the  depth  of  four  inches,  and  when  the  sun  rose  there  was  no 
bridge  there.  No  one  saw  it  fall,  and  no  one,  so  far  as  is  known,  heard  the 
sound,  except  the  watchman  at  the  paper-mills  below. 

The  year  of  18 19  came  and  went  without  many  changes  in  the  appearance 
of  the  village,  other  than  those  caused  by  the  erection  of  new  mills,  as  will  be 
detailed  in  another  place  in  this  volume.  In  addition  to  the  completion  of  the 
Carthage  bridge  the  river  was  again  spanned  within  the  village  limits,  a  toll 
bridge  being  thrown  across  by  Andrews,  Atwater  and  Mumford,  about  midway 
between  the  falls  and  the  present  site  of  Andrews  street  bridge  ;  it  was  prob- 
ably not  very  strongly  constructed,  as  it  stood  but  a  few  years  and  there,  was 
no  occasion  to  rebuild  it.  The  title  of  the  village  corporation  was  changed  by 
act  of  the  legislature,  the  name  of  Rochesterville,  which  had  always  been  dis- 
tasteful to  the  people,  giving  place  to  the  original  appellation  of  Rochester. 
This  is  what  it  ought  to  have  been  called  all  the  time,  not  only  on  account  of 
Colonel  Rochester,  the  part  owner  of  the  land  on  which  the  village  stood,  but 
as  bearing,  in  its  natural  features,  a  resemblance  more  or  less  .marked,  and  cer- 
tainly not  wholly  fanciful,  to  the  town  of  the  same  name  in  England.  On  the 
28th  of  September  the  state  engineers  made  a  survey  of  a  route  for  the  canal 
through  the  village.  The  question  of  the  course  to  be  taken  by  the  Erie  canal 
was  one  that  agitated  the  inhabitants  of  the  little  place,  as  will  be  seen  by  the 
following  extract  from  the  Rochester  Telegraph  of  November  2d,  18 19:  — 

"We  learn  from  Mr.  White,  one  of  the  engineers  who  have  been  employed  in  explor- 
ing the  route  for  the  canal,  that  the  commissioners,  at  their  late  meeting  in  Utica,  de- 
cided in  favor  of  the  northern  route,  from  Montezuma  to  the  Genesee  river,  which  it  will 
intersect  at  this  village.     The  course  it  will  take  west  of  the  river  is  not  yet  determined. 


1 14  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

It  is  expected  that  contracts  will  be  made  this  season,  for  working  some  part  of  the 
canal  in  this  section  of  the  country.  The  result  of  the  first  experiment  which  was  made 
to  navigate  the  canal  between  Rome  and  Utica  will  afford  its  friends  and  advocates  the 
highest  gratification." 

A  letter  in  the  same  number  of  the  newspaper,  from  a  correspondent  at 
Utica,  gives  an  account  of  "the  first  trial  of  the  great  canal,"  in  a  trip  made 
from  that  place  to  Rome  by  Governor  Clinton,  the  canal  commissioners  and  a 
number  of  gentlemen,  the  letter  closing  with  the  ardent  hope  on  the  part  of 
the  writer  that  the  season  then  in  progress  would  "  witness  the  transportation 
of  salt  from  Salina  to  Utica  by  the  canal,  a  distance  of  more  than  fifty  miles." 
An  account  of  the  inception  of  this  great  work,  its  progress,  its  completion  and 
its  enlargement,  as  well  as  the  rneans  taken  to  direct  its  course  through  this 
.  city,  will  be  found  in  another  place.  Village  lots  had  by  this  time  greatly  in- 
creased in  value,  but  the  prices  at  which  they  were  held  in  18 19  have  a  strange 
look  at  this  day.  A  store  lot  fronting  on  State  street  (then  Carroll  street), 
where  part  of  the  Powers  block  now  stands,  was  offered  for  $1,000,  and  the 
Boody  farm,  embracing  one  hundred  acres,  now  partly  covered  by  some  of  the 
finest  residences  and  grounds  on  East  avenue,  was  offered  at  ten  dollars  an 
acre.  At  about  the  same  time  the  lot  on  West  Main  street  between  Exchange 
and  Aqueduct  streets,  and  running  back  to  where  the  canal  now  is,  was  sold 
for  $1,175. 

In  1820  the  village  had  grown  to  be  a  place  of  1,502  inhabitants,  according 
to  the  United  States  census  taken  in  that  year ;  the  first  court  of  record  was 
held  here,  Hon.  Roger  Skinner  presiding  at  a  session  of  the  United  States  dis- 
trict court ;  St.  Luke's  (Episcopal)  church  was  built,  being  the  second  house  for 
public  worship  erected  here  ;  the  price  of  produce  fell  greatly  in  this  year,  corn 
being  from  twenty  to  twenty-five  cents  per  bushel  and  wheat  thirty- seven  and 
a  half  cents,  so  that  flour  was  sold  at  from  $2.25  to  $2.50  per  barrel. 

The  legislature  did  in  February,  1821,  what  it  ought  to  have  done  before  — 
it  passed  a  law  creating  the  county  of  Monroe  out  of  portions  of  Genesee  and 
Ontario  counties,  which  had  hitherto  been  divided  by  the  river.  Jesse  Haw- 
ley,  Fitch  Chipman  and  Samuel  M.  Hopkins  were  the  members  of  assembly 
from  Genesee  county,  and  there  is  no  record  that  they  were  hostile  to  a  meas- 
ure that  was  plainly  demanded  by  justice  to  a  thriving  and  increasing  popula- 
tion, with  a  large  village  astride  of  a  river  and  situated  in  two  counties,  but 
John  C.  Spencer,  who  was  then  one  of  the  seven  members  from  Ontario  coun- 
ty, and  who  afterward  became  so  eminent  as  a  jurist,  set  himself  in  violent 
opposition  to  the  scheme.  It  was  not  the  last  time  that  a  resident  of  Canan- 
daigua  exerted  himself  to  prevent  legislation  favorable  and  just  to  Rochester, 
but  then,  as  sixty  years  later,  the  effort  was  unsuccessful  and  the  bill  passed, 
aided  in  its  adoption  by  the  strenuous  arguments  of  Daniel  D.  Barnard,  Ash- 
ley Sampson  and  others,  who  went  down  to  Albany  to  facilitate  its  passage. 
Morris  S.  Miller,  Robert  S.  Rose  and  Nathan  Williams,  the  commissioners  ap- 


First  Deed  Recorded.  i  i  s 

pointed  for  the  purpose,  located  the  new  county  building  on  a  lot  given  for 
that  object  by  Messrs.  Rochester,  Fitzhugh  and  Carroll,  and  on  the  4th  of  Sep- 
tember the  corner-stone  of  the  court-house  was  laid. 

The  first  deed  of  land  sold  in  the  county  after  its  erection  was  placed  on 
record  on  the  6th  of  April  in  this  year,  bearing  date  of  the  19th  of  March  pre- 
vious. The  conveyance  was  of  a  piece  of  ground  in  the  town  of  Brighton 
(for  the  village  was  in  the  two  to'vns  of  Brighton  and  Gates),  on  what  is  now 
the  northwest  corner  of  North  St.  Paul  and  Mortimer  streets.  The  grantors 
were  Elisha  Johnson  and  Betsey  his  wife ;  the  grantees,  Andrew  V.  T.  Leav- 
itt  and  Charles  J.  Hill ;  the  witnesses,  Lucinda  House  and  Charles  Harwood. 
The  property  was  purchased  in  1850  from  Messrs.  Leavitt  and  Hill  by  George 
G.  Clarkson,  who  continued  till  a  few  years  ago  to  live  in  the  house  which  had 
been  built  there  by  Mr.  Leavitt,  when  the  demand  for  ground  for  manufactur- 
ing purposes  caused  him  to  sell  it ;  the  old  dwelling-house  was  then  torn  down 
and  the  Archer  building  erected  in  its  place.  In  this  year  (182 1)  a  female  charity 
school  was  opened  for  the  gratuitous  instruction  of  poor  children.  In  August 
the  erection  of  the  old  aqueduct  was  begun.  William  Britton,  who  had  been 
a  keeper  in  Auburn  state  prison,  was  the  contractor  for  the  work,  and,  as  it  was 
a  state  affair,  he  was  authorised  by  a  special  act  of  the  legislature  to  employ  a 
hundred  convicts  on  the  work.  He  seems,  however,  to  have  taken  only  thirty 
of  those  gentlemen  at  first,  a  number  quite  sufficient  for  the  purpose,  as  it 
turned  out,  for  they  all  made  their  escape,  one  after  another,  and  sought  else- 
where for  more  congenial  fields  of  labor  and  a  wider  range  of  enjoyment. 
The  force  employed  to  guard  them  had  probably  been  insufficient,  ^nd  what 
few  custodians  there  were  had  evidently  not  practised  shooting  to  any  great 
extent,  or  perhaps  they  were  Communists  before  their  time,  and  sympathised 
with  the  fugitives;  at  any  rate,  it  is  certain  that  of  all  the  shots  fired  at  the 
escaping  prisoners,  not  one  took  effect. 

Building  went  on  apace  in  1822.  The  third  house  for  public  worship  was 
built  in  the  village  by  the  society  of  Friends,  and  the  fourth  was  begun  by  the 
Methodists,  a  brick  chapel,  on  South  St.  Paul  street,  where  the  Opera  House 
now  stands.  The  county  court-house  was  completed,  and,  though  many  of 
the  readers  of  this  volume  will  remember  well  its  appearance,  many  others  will 
not  be  able  to  go  back  so  far  as  that,  while  both  classes  will  be  interested  in. 
the  following  description  of  the  old  building,  taken  from  the  directory  of 
1827: — 

"The  natural  declivity  of  the  ground  is  reduced  to  two  platforms  —  the  first  on  the 
level  of  Buffalo  street,  forming  a  neat  yard  in  front  of  the  building,  which  recedes  sev- 
enty-five feet  from  the  line  of  the  street,  the  other  raised  about  six  feet  above  the  former 
and  divided  from  it  by  the  building  itself  and  two  wing  walls  of  uniform  appearance, 
presenting,  toward  Buffalo  street,  the  aspect  of  an  elevated  terrace,  but  on  a  level 
with  the  streets  immediately  adjoining.  This  last,  together  with  the  yard  of  the  Presby- 
terian church,  now  comprehended  within  the  same  inclosure,  forms  a  small  square,  laid 


1 1 6  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

out  in  grass  plats  and  gravel  walks,  and  needs  only  the  further  attention  of  the  citizens, 
in  planting  it  with  shade  trees  and  shrubbery,  to  render  it  a  very  pleasant  and  valuable 
accommodation  as  a  public  walk.  This  is  now  known  by  the  name  of  Court  square. 
The  court-house  building  is  fifty-four  feet  long,  forty-four  wide  and  forty  high  It 
presents  two  fronts  —  the  one  facing  Court  square,  showing  two  stories  and  a  base,  the 
other  toward  Buffalo  street,  two  stories  and  a  full  basement.  Each  front  is  finished  with 
a  projecting  portico,  thirty  feet  long  and  ten  feet  wide,  supported  by  four  fluted  Ionic 
columns,  surmounted  by  a  regular  entablature  and  balustrade,  which  returns  and  con- 
tinues along  the  whole  front.  From  the  center  of  the  building  arises  an  octagonal  belfry, 
covered  by  a  cupola.  The  basement  affords  convenient  offices  for  county  and  village 
purposes.  The  court-room  is  in  the  second  story,  extending  the  entire  length  and 
breadth  of  the  building,  and  is  a  remarkably  well  lighted  and  airy  apartment." 

The  basenient  referred  to  was  not  always  used  for  office- room  alone,  for 
during  the  latter  portion  of  the  existence  of  the  structure  the  cells  of  the  police 
station  were  located  in  the  northwest  corner.  The  county  jail,  erected  about 
this  time,  contained  two  tiers  of  cells,  divided  by  a  hall  through  the  center, 
inclosed  in  a  secure  manner.  It  stood  in  the  rear  of  a  handsome  and  commo- 
dious brick  house  on  what  was  then  Hughes  street  (now  the  north  part  of 
Fitzhugh),  on  the  site  afterward  occupied  by  the  Unitarian  church,  and  now 
by  the  German  Evangelical  church  of  St.  Paul.  After  being  used  for  its 
intended  purpose  for  aboiit  ten  years,  it  was,  after  the  erection  of  the  jail  on  the 
island,  occupied  for  a  long  time  as  a  recruiting  station  by  officers  of  the  United 
States  army.  Business  was  brisk  in  this  year,  even  in  the  winter,  and  it  is 
recorded  that  on  the  Sth  of  February  7,000  bushels  of  wheat  were  taken  at 
the  mills  in  Rochester  and  Carthage.  In  the  autumn  the  canal  was  extended 
as  far  as  this  place,  and  on  the  29th  of  October  the  first  canal  boat  left  the  vil- 
lage for  Little  Falls,  laden  with  flour.  In  September  the  fourth  census  was 
taken,  showing  that  the  population  had  nearly  doubled  in  two  years,  the  num- 
ber recorded  as  permanent  being  2,700,  besides  430  laborers  on  the  public 
works.  Thurlow  Weed  came  here  in  November  and  obtained  employment  on 
the  Telegraph. 

In  1823  a  fifth  house  of  public  worship  was  built,  St.  Patrick's  (Roman 
Catholic)  church,  on  Piatt  street,  where  its  successor,  the  cathedral,  now  stands. 
It  was  constructed  of  stone,  and  was  forty-two  feet  long  and  thirty  eight  wide. 
The  great  event  of  the  year  was  the  completion  of  the  canal  aqueduct  across 
the  Genesee  river,  which  was  signalised  by  a  public  celebration,  consisting  of 
an  address  by  Ashley  Sampson,  and  the  passage  of  boats  through  the  new 
water-way,  escorted  by  the  military  companies,  Masonic  societies  and  citizens 
generally.  The  work  cost  $83,000,  and  although  far  inferior  to  the  existing 
structure,  both  in  expense  and  in  workmanship,  it  was  considered  at  the  time  a 
"stupendous  fabric,"  as  it  was  denominated  by  the  civil  engineer  who  superin- 
tended its  construction.  Its  west  end  was  on  the  same  spot  as  that  of  the  pres- 
ent aqueduct,  while  its  eastern  terminus  was  a  few  rods  north  of  where  this  one 
turns  southward.     The  walls  were  composed  of  red  sandstone,  with  pilasters 


Canal  Aqueduct  Finished  in  1823.  117 

and  coping  of  gray  limestone,  and  many  of  the  blocks,  particularly  in  the  piers, 
were  of  great  size.  These  were  trenailed  to  the  rock,  in  which  excavations 
were  made,  by  large  iron  bolts,  and  were  so  cramped  and  cemented  as  to  form 
a  mass  which  was  supposed  to  possess  the  consistency  and  firmness  of  a  single 
piece.  The  aqueduct  was  804  feet  long,  and  was  built  on  eleven  arches,  one 
of  twenty-six  feet  chord,  nine  of  fifty  feet  each,  and  one  of  thirty  feet,  the  re- 
maining distance  being  of  masonry  put  up  on  the  land.  The  piers  were  thirty- 
six  feet  long,  ten  feet  wide,  and  four  and  a  half  high,  with  eleven  feet  for  the 
rise  of  the  arch.  Many  of  the  stones  of  which  it  was  composed  were  used  in 
building  the  high  wall  which  runs  along  the  bank  of  the  canal  north  of  Court 
street,  and  others  went  into  the  construction  of  private  dwellings  in  the  city. 
In  the  latter  part  of  the  year,  meetings  were  held  to  devise  means  for  aiding 
the  Greeks  in  their  struggle  against  the  Turks.  Balls  were  given,  money  was 
subscribed  to  the  extent  of  $1,500  throughout  the  county,  and  a  fat  ox  was 
slain  and  sold  by  the  pound,  the  proceeds  being  donated  to  the  Greek  fund. 

John  Quincy  Adams,  both  during  his  presidential  term  and  long  afterward, 
frequently  alluded  to  the  fact  that  his  first'  nomination  for  the  executive  office 
came  from  Rochester.  The  Telegraph  had,  in  an  early  number  during  1823, 
urged  in  its  editorial  columns,  probably  by  the  pen  of  Mr.  Weed,  who  was  then 
associate  editor,  the  claims  of  the  distinguished  statesman,  and  was  the  first 
paper  in  the  country,  so  far  as  is  known,  which  placed  his  name  at  the  head  as 
the  candidate  for  the  presidency.  Shortly  afterward  a  pubHc  meeting  was  held 
here,  at  which  Mr.  Adams  was  nominated,  which  was  the  first  action  of  the 
kind  taken  anywhere,  and  was  as  authoritative  as  any  nomination  could  be,  for 
national  conventions  were  then  unknown.  The  legislature  of  New  York  chose 
at  that  time  the  presidential  electors,  and  Mr.  Weed,  though  not  a  member  of 
either  house,  went  down  to  Albany  and  presented  the  claims  of  Mr.  Adams  as 
set  forth  here  and  elsewhere,  for  the  movement  had  by  that  time  become  gen- 
eral throughout  the  state.  It  was  owing  in  great  part  to  Mr.  Weed's  influence 
that  the  friends  of  Henry  Clay  were  induced  to  join  with  those  of  John  Quincy 
Adams  in  a  union  electoral  ticket,  to  defeat  William  H.  Crawford  and  General 
Jackson,  which  scheme  was  successful,  and  of  the  electors  thus  chosen  thirty 
voted  for  Adams,  five  for  Crawford  and  one  for  Jackson. 


1 1 8  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 


CHAPTER  XVni. 

THE  GROWTH  OF  THE  VILLAGE. 

The  First  Bank  in  Rochester  —  The  First  Presbyterian  Church  —  LaFayette's  Visit  to  Rochester  — 
The  Abduction  of  William  Morgan  —  The  Excitement  in  Rochester  and  Elsewhere  —  Trial,  Confess- 
ion and  Punishment  of  the  Original  Abductors  —  Other  Trials  in  Different  Counties  —  Anti-Masonic 
Party  Formed  —  Bitterness  of  Feeling  Engendered  —  The  Body  Found  at  Oak  Orchard  —  Morgan  or 
Munroe,  Which  ?  —  Perhaps  Neither  — The  First  Village  Directory  —  The  Fate  of  Catlin  —  The  Leap 
of  Sam  Patch  —  The  Mormon  Bible  —  The  First  Cholera  Year  —  St.  Patrick's  Day  in  1833. 

THE  record  of  1824  may  begin  with  the  estabh'shment  of  the  Bank  of  Roch- 
ester, which  was  incorporated  by  act  of  the  legislature ;  the  Buffalo  street 
bridge,  beginning  to  decay,  was  rebuilt  by  the  county  at  an  expense  of  $6,000, 
Samuel  Works  being  the  commissioner  and  Elisha  Johnson  the  contractor ;  the 
Episcopal  society  moved  their  old  edifice  to  the  rear  and  erected  St.  Luke's 
church,  which  is  still  standing  and  bids  fair  to  last  through  another  generation  ; 
the  First  Presbyterian  society  having  disposed  of  their  old  building  to  another 
congregation,  erected  a  new  church  —  the  sixth  in  the  village  —  on  Fitzhugh 
street,  back  of  the  court-house,  the  church  and  its  session-room,  which  was 
separate  from  it,  occupying  the  present  site  of  the  city  hall.  It  fronted  north 
and  was  eighty-six  feet  long,  by  sixty-four  wide  and  thirty  high,  with  a  tower 
projecting  three  feet  from  the  face  of  the  building  and  running  up  seventy-one 
feet  from  the  base,  surmounted  by  an  octagonal  spire  of  seventy-nine  feet,  so 
that  the  whole  height  of  the  steeple  was  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet.  The  ves- 
tibule was  entered  from  three  doors,  from  the  middle  one  of  which  the  stair- 
case rose,  leading  to  the  galleries.  Unlike  the  arrangement  in  most  churches, 
the  pulpit  was  at  the  front  of  the  auditorium,  and  all  the  pews  were  so  arranged 
as  to  face  it  directly.  It  was  built  of  stone,  covered  with  cement  in  imitation 
of  whitish  free-stone,  and  the  cost  of  the  whole  building,  with  the  lot  on  which 
it  stood,  was  about  $16,000.  A  few  years  after  its  erection,  while  Rev.  Dr. 
Finney  was  conducting  a  revival  there,  the  plastering  began  to  fall  on  the  heads 
of  the  crowded  congregation,  and  in  consequence  of  the  alarm  then  occasioned 
the  walls  were  strengthened  on  the  outside  by  buttresses  rising  between  the 
windows  and  above  the  eaves. 

In  1825  the  question  was  agitated  whether  the  community  should  apply  for 
a  charter  as  a  city,  since  the  powers  granted  to  the  village  trustees  by  the  act 
of  incorporation  were  inadequate ;  after  considerable  discussion,  the  people  con- 
cluded not  to  make  the  application  but  to  rest  content  with  an  amendment, 
which  was  obtained,  increasing  the  powers  of  the  board  of  trustees.  The  growth 
of  the  place  during  the  spring  and  early  summer  of  this  year  was  surprisingly 
large,  for  the  village  census,  taken  in  February,  showed  the  population  to  be 
4,274,  while  the  state  census  taken  on  the  istof  August,  gave  the  number  as 
5,273,  an  increase  of  a  thousand  less  one.      On  the  7th  of  June  LaFayette  vis- 


Visit  OF  LaFayette.  119 


ited  the  city,  coming  on  a  canal  boat  from  the  west,  though  the  canal  was  not 
completed  till  four  months  later.  A  deputation  of  eighteen  leading  citizens  had 
gone  to  Lockport  the  day  before,  to  meet  him  and  bring  him  hither,  and,  as 
the  morning  advanced,  the  flotilla  came  in  sight,  six  boats  leading,  then  a  craft 
bearing  the  illustrious  guest,  then  six  other  vessels  completing  the  procession. 
Not  only  did  all  the  village  turn  out  to  do  honor  to  the  idolised  Frenchman, 
who  had  done  so  much  for  the  independence  of  this  country,  but  an  equal  num- 
ber of  persons  came  in  from  the  surrounding  towns  to  participate  in  the  ova- 
tion. From  a  stage  erected  over  the  center  arch  of  the  aqueduct,  William  B. 
Rochester  made  an  address  of  welcome,  to  which  the  general  gave  a  reply,  of 
which  the  following  words  are  a  portion  :  — 

"Sir,  when,  about  ten  months  ago,  J  had  the  happiness  to  revisit  the  American  shore 
it  was  in  the  bay  of  New  York,  and  within  the  limits  of  her  vast  and  flourishing  empo 
rium  of  commerce,  that  1  made  a  landing.  On  this  western  frontier  of  the  state,  where 
I  am  received  in  so  affectionate  and  gratifying  a  manner,  I  enjoy  a  sight  of  works  and 
improvements  equally  rapid  and  wonderful,  chief  among  which  is  the  grand  canal,  an 
admirable  work  of  science  and  patriotism  whereby  nature  has  been  made  to  adorn  and 
serve,  as  seen  in  the  striking  spectacle  which  is  at  this  moment  presented  to  our  view." 

During  the  firing  of  a  salute  LaFayette  landed,  and,  in  company  with  Col- 
onel Rochester,  rode  through  the  streets  to  Colonel  Hoard's,  where  he  received 
the  veterans  of  the  Revolution.  From  thence  he  was  taken  to  the  Mansion 
House,  where  a  dinner  was  served,  with  some  two  hundred  guests,  and  at  four 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon  he  set  out  for  Canandaigua,  where  he  passed  the  night. 
In  this  year  the  old  Museum  building,  on  Exchange  street,  was  built ;  Josiah 
Bissell  purchased  what  was  called  the  Cornhill  tract,  a  district  now  lying  in  the 
third  and  eighth  wards,  which  has  almost  to  this  day  borne  the  name  of  Corn- 
hill.  The  appellation  of  the  tract  came  from  the  fact  that  it  was  then  a  farm, 
the  greater  part  of  which  was  a  cornfield. 

In  1826  the  seventh  house  for  public  worship  was  erected,  a  meeting-house 
built  by  the  Dissenting  Methodists;  a  bridge  was  built  at  what  is  now  Court 
street,  the  money  being  raised  by  subiscription,  and  the  work  done  by  a  com- 
pany of  land  proprietors,  who  cut  the  street  through  to  the  Pittsford  road  (now 
East  avenue),  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  and  at  the  same  time  built  the 
Rochester  House,  on  the  west  side,  on  the  southwest  corner  of  Exchange 
street  and  the  canal,  hoping  to  draw  the  travel  in  that  direction  ;  Luther  Tucker 
&  Co.  established  the  Rochester  Daily  Advertiser  (with  Henry  O'Rielly  as  ed-' 
itor),  the  first  daily  paper  between  Albany  and  the  Pacific  ocean ;  the  village 
census  showed  a  population  of  7,669. 

This  year  is  rendered  memorable  by  the  abduction,  from  the  jail  at  Canan- 
daigua, of  William  Morgan,  a  former  resident  of  Rochester,  who  had  been 
engaged  in  preparing  for  publication  a  book  purporting  to  reveal  the  secrets  of 
Freemasonry.  When  it  was  understood  that  Morgan  was  intending  to  pub- 
lish these  things,  every  effort  was  made  to  suppress  them ;  menaces,  threats 


I20  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

and  bribes  were  resorted  to  in  vain  ;  an  attempt  was  made  to  burn  the  printing- 
office  in  which  the  pages  were  being  put  in  type,  and  finally  Morgan  was  sub- 
jected to  a  number  of  harassing  arrests,  which  his  intemperate  habits  and 
general  character  made  easy,  for  he  was  not  of  high  standing  in  the  communi- 
ty. He  was  repeatedly  put  in  jail  for  small  debts,  and  at  last  arrested  on  a 
charge  of  petty  larceny,  being  accused  of  borrowing  a  shirt  from  a  tavern- 
keeper  at  Canandaigua  and  not  returning  it.  He  was  taken  from  his  home  in 
Batavia  to  the  former  village,  where  the  charge  was  promptly  dismissed,  but  he 
was  immediately  re- arrested  on  a  debt  of  two  dollars,  which  he  admitted,  and 
was  thrown  into  prison,  on  the  nth  of  September.  The  next  night  several 
men  came  to  the  prison  and  paid  the  debt,  with  the  costs,  and,  Morga'n,  as  he 
left  his  place  of  confinement,  was  seized,  thrown  into  a  carriage  and  driven  off". 
He  was  never  seen  in  public  again.  His  wife  became  alarmed  at  the  prolonged 
absence  of  her  husband,  and  the  excitement  extended  to  her  neighbors,  from 
them  to  the  rest  of  the  village,  and  speedily  spread  through  the  state,  gather- 
ing intensity  through  the  next  three  yeans,  during  which  the  trials  in  five  dif- 
ferent counties  of  those  charged  with  the  abduction  were  going  on- — special 
sessions  of  the  courts  being  sometimes  ordered  for  the  purpose  —  and  finally 
entering  into  the  arena  of  politics,  where  it  broke  up  the  parties  then  existing, 
divided  the  politicians  into  friends  and  opponents  of  the  order,  and  created  a 
distinctly  Anti-Masonic  political  party,  which  for  years  influenced  the  elections 
in  this  state,  and  put  a  presidential  ticket  into  the  field  in  1832.  Rochester 
was  the  center  of  excitement,  and  the  Monroe  county  Morgan  committee,  with 
Hervey  Ely,  Thurlow  Weed,  Frederick  F.  Backus  and  Frederick  Whittlesey  as 
the  most  active  members,  was  earnestly  engaged  in  bringing  to  light  all  the 
facts  that  could  be  obtained  with  regard  to  the  dark  affair. 

The  first  indictments  found  were  those  against  the  four  persons  supposed  to 
have  been  engaged  in  taking  Morgan  from  the  Canandaigua  jail  and  putting 
him  into  the  carriage  in  which  he  was  driven  away.  Three  of  the  accused  — 
Chesebro,  Sawyer  and  Lawson  —  pleaded  guilty,  to  the  surprise  of  the  court 
and  the  spectators,  as  it  had  been  supposed,  from  the  eminence  of  their  coun- 
sel, consisting  of  John  C.  Spencer,  Mark  H.  Sibley,  W.  Hubbell  and  H.  F. 
Penfield,  that  a  determined  defense  would  be  made.  The  fourth  defendant, 
Sheldon,  was  tried  and  convicted,  but  it  was  generally  admitted  afterward  that 
•his  case  was  one  of  mistaken  identity  and  that  it  was  some  one  else  who  stood 
by  the  door  and  was  supposed  to  be  Sheldon  by  Mrs.  Hall,  the  wife  of  the 
jailer,  who  let  out  the  prisoner  and  his  captors  and  who  witnessed  the  struggles 
of  Morgan  as  he  was  being  forced  into  the  coach.  Chesebro  and  Sawyer 
pleaded  in  mitigation  of  their  offense  that  they  supposed  that  the  object  in 
removing  Morgan  was  to  get  him  away  from  the  control  of  Miller,  who  had 
been  influencing  him  to  publish  his  disclosures ;  that  they  supposed,  until  the 
last  moment,  that  Morgan  had  consented  to  go  away  freely  and  that  they  did 


The  Abduction  of  Morgan.  121 

not  know  what  had  become  of  him,  all  of  which  was  probably  true.  Sawyer 
was  sentenced  to  one  month's  imprisonment  in  the  county  jail,  Sheldon  to  three 
months'  and  Chesebro  to  one  year's,  while  Lawson,  who  had  hypocritically 
paid  Morgan's  debt  and  beguiled  him  to  his  doom,  was  sentenced  for  two 
years.  The  admissions  made  by  some  of  the  witnesses  on  the  trial  of  Sheldon, 
as  well  as  the  persistent  inquiries  of  the  Morgan  committee,  resulted  in  tracing, 
stage  by  stage,  the  route  that  was  taken  by  the  carriage  containing  Morgan 
from  Canandaigua  through  this  city  down  to  Hanford's  Landing  and  thence 
west  to  Lewiston,  where,  as  was  alleged,  he  was  taken  across  the  Niagara  river 
to  Canada.  Upon  these  data  indictments  were  found  against  a  great  number 
of  persons,  some  of  prominence,  others  insignificant,  and  the  results  of  the 
different  trials  were  as  diverse  as  possible,  the  verdict  of  "guilty"  being  ren- 
dered in  some  cases,  of  "not  guilty"  in  others,  while  in  the  majority  of  in- 
stances, perhaps,  the  jury  disagreed.  The  testimony  was  of  course  conflicting, 
but  it  seemed  to  be  fairly  established  that  the  prisoner  was, taken  to  Canada 
and  an  effort  made  to  induce  the  Masons  there  to  take  care  of  him,  perhaps, 
as  was  said  by  many,  to  send  him  to  some  distant  point  of  the  British  domin- 
ions. Before  most  of  the  trials  took  place  Gov.  De  Witt  Clinton,  who  was  him- 
self a  Mason  and  the  highest  authority  in  the  order  in  the  United  States, 
became  so  well  satisfied,  from  private  information  which  he  had  obtained,  of 
Morgan's  transportation  to  Canada  that  he  wrote  officially  to  the  earl  of  Dal- 
housie,  the  governor  of  Lower  Canada,  and  said,  after  giving  a  description  of 
Morgan  :  — 

"  During  the  last  year  he  put  a  manuscript  into  the  hands  of  a  printer  in  Batavia,  pur- 
porting to  be  a  promulgation  of  the  secrets  of  P'reemasonry.  This  was  passed  over 
by  the  great  body  of  that  fraternity  without  notice  and  with  silent  contempt,  but  a  few 
desperate  fanatics  engaged  in  a  plan  of  carying  him  off,  and  on  the  12th  of  September 
last  they  took  him  from  Canandaigua  by  force,  as  it  is  understood,  and  conveyed  him  to 
the  Niagara  river,  from  whence  it  is  supposed  that  he  was  taken  to  her  Britannic  majesty's 
dominions.  Some  of  the  offenders  liave  been  apprehended  and  punished,  hut  no  intelli- 
gence has  been  obtained  respecting  Morgan  since  his  abduction.  I  have  therefore  to 
appeal  to  your  justice  and  humanity  on  this  occasion,  and  to  request  your  excellency  to 
cause  inquiry  to  be  made  respecting  him,  and,  if  he  is  forcibly  detained,  to  direct  his  lib- 
eration and  to  communicate  to  me  the  results.  It  is  conjectured  that  he  is  confined  in 
some  fort  or  prison  under  false  pretenses.''  , 

Lord  Dalhousie  was  unable  to  give  any  information  with  regard  to  the 
matter. 

The  narrative  from  the  point  of  Morgan's  passage  across  the  river  into 
Canada  grows  more  uncertain.  The  evidence  is  circumstantial,  but  that  which 
is  practically  unimpeached  goes  to  show  that  he  was  brought  back  —  pre- 
sumably because  the  people  on   the  other  side  would  have  nothing  to  do  with 

him and  was  confined  for  a  few  days  in  an  old  magazine  in  Fort  Niagara,  at 

Lewiston.  What  was  done  with  him  after  that  is  not  historical,  but  the  story 
which  is  more  nearly  substantiated  than  any  other  is  that  he  was  taken  out  of 


122  History  OF  THE  City  OF  Rochester. 

the  fort,  put  into  a  boat,  rowed  out  in  the  Niagara  river  to  some  point  near 
where  its  waters  widen  into  Lake  Ontario,  and  drowned.  No  direct  testimony 
to  that  effect  was  obtained  at  any  of  the  trials,  the  witnesses  who  were  sup- 
posed to  know  something  of  the  matter  either  refusing  to  answer  on  the  ground 
that  by  so  doing  they  might  criminate  themselves  or  else  testifying  to  complete 
ignorance  as  to  the  ending  of  the  tragedy.  The  evidence  outside  the  court- 
room is  indirect,  consisting  of  reports  of  confessions  and  of  narratives  made 
from  hearsay,  and  only  in  that  it  is  cumulative  does  it  offer  better  claims  to ' 
credibility  .than  the  vague  rumors  from  time  to  time  that  the  missing  man  had 
been  seen  in  remote  parts  of  the  earth.  The  secret  was  well  kept,  and  was 
undoubtedly  told  to  but  few  outside  of  those  engaged  in  the  work.  That  the 
vast  body  of  Masons  both  here  and  elsewhere  were  not  only  guiltless  of  any 
complicity  in  the  crime  at  any  of  its  stages  but  were,  then  and  ever  after,  in 
profound  ignorance  of  its  consummation,  no  one  at  this  day  can  doubt  for  a 
moment.  Not  so  in  that  unhappy  time.  The  righteous  indignation  of  the 
people  over  the  commission  of  the  deed  extended  to  a  groundless  hatred  of 
the  whole  order,  the  members  of  which  were  subjected  to  persecutions  of 
various  kinds,  were  generally  ill  treated  and  in  some  instances  —  as  on  the 
occasion  of  a  procession  at  Batavia,  Morgan's  old  home  —  narrowly  escaped 
death  from  the  blind  fury  of  the  mob. 

The  constant  trials  in  courts  of  justice  for  nearly  three  years  were  enough 
to  keep  alive  the  ill  feeling  that  was  engendered,  but  other  events  occured  to  fan 
the  flames  of  passion  and  intolerance.  For  ten  years  from  the  incorporation  of 
the  village  Dr.  F.  F.  Backus  had  been  annually  elected  treasurer  of  Rochester, 
but  after  the  abduction  of  Morgan  he  had  come  out  as  an  opponent  of  Masonry. 
As  the  village  election  in  the  summer  of  1827  approached  he  was  again 
placed  in  nomination,  but,  though  as  usual  no  one  was  named  in  opposition  to 
him,  it  was  found  on  counting  the  ballots  that  he  was  defeated  by  Dr.  John  B. 
Elwood,  a  man  equally,  respected,  belonging  to  the  same  political  party 'and  not 
a  Mason,  but  who,  nevertheless,  since  he  knew  nothing  about  his  own  candi- 
dature till  after  he  was  elected,  was  probably  chosen  only  as  a  means  of  retri- 
bution. The  natural  result  followed.  Early  in  September  a  Monroe  county 
convention  of  Anti- Masons  was  called,  to  nominate  candidates  for  members  of 
Assembly.  Timothy  Childs,  an  eloquent  advocate  of  the  village,  was  nominated 
as  the  member  from  Rochester  and  was  elected  by  a  majority  of  1,700,  being 
chosen  in  the  next  year  as  member  of  Congress,  in  which  capacity  he  served  for 
four  years  as  an  Anti-Mason. 

Between  the  time  of  Mr.  Childs's  nomination  and  his  election  an  incident  oc- 
curred in  the  Morgan  history  which  in  the  mystery  in  which  it  was  clouded 
from  that  day  to  this  exceeded  even  the  uncertainty  of  the  principal  act  in  the 
drama.  On  the  7th  of  October,  1827,  a  corpse  was  discovered  on  the  beach  in 
the  town  of  Carleton,    Orleans  county,  at  a  point  where  Oak  Orchard  creek 


Supposed  Finding  of  Morgan's  Body.  123 

empties  into  Lake  Ontario.  From  certain  marks  on  the  body  it.  was  supposed 
to  be  that  of  the  man  whose  name  was  in  every  mouth,  and  several  members  of 
the  Morgan  committee  went  up  to  Oak  Orchard  and  had  the  remains  exhumed. 
A  second  inquest  was  held,  as  a  former  one  had  given  a  verdict  of  non-identifi- 
cation, and  several  reputable  witnesses  were  examined,  who,  before  seeing 
the  remains,  testified  to  certain  physical  peculiarities  of  Morgan,  such  as  a 
broken  tooth  in  one  jaw  and  a  missing  tooth  in  another,  which  marks  were 
found  to  be  the  same  in  the  body  discovered  on  the  shore.  Mrs.  Morgan,  who 
was  present,  positively  identified  the  corpse  as  that  of  her  husband,  though  she 
declared,  that  she  had  never  before  seen  the  clothes  in  which  it  was  found,  and 
the  coroner's  jury  of  twenty-three  members  returned  a  unanimous  verdict  that 
it  was  "the  body  of  William  Morgan  and  that  he  came  to  his  death  by  suffoca- 
tion by  drowning."  The  committee  of  investigation  gave  to  the  public  a  re- 
port to  the  same  efiect,  signed  by  all  the  members  —  Samuel  Works,  Hervey 
Ely,  Frederick  F.  Backus,  Frederick  Whittlesey  and  Thurlow  Weed  —  and  the 
remains  were  buried  a  second  time. 

But  public  opinion  was  not  quite  satisfied,  and  the  feeling  of  uneasiness  was 
increased  by  the  news  that  in  September,  1827,  a  Canadian  named  Timothy 
Munroe  had  been  drowned  in  the  Niagara  river.  His  widow  and  son  were  sent 
for  and  brought  to  this  city,  whence  they  went,  together  with  prominent  Masons, 
to  Oak  Orchard  creek.  Again  were  the  remains  taken  up  and  a  third  examin- 
ation was  held,  the  result  being  only  a  further  complication  of  the  mystery. 
Mrs.  Munroe  described  minutely  and  accurately  all  the  outer  garments  of  her 
husband,  with  the  rents  in  them  and  the  repairs  that  she  had  made,  and  her  de- 
scription corresponded  exactly  with  the  appearance  of  the  clothes  found,  which 
had  not  been  shown  to  her.  She  and  her  son  identified  the  corpse  as  that  of  Mun- 
roe, but  their  previous  description  of  him  did  not  by  any  means  tally  with  the 
presentment  of  the  body,  as  to  length  or  as  to  the  color  of  the  hair  and  whisk- 
ers. Which  of  the  two  it  was,  or  whether  it  was  neither,  has  never  been  set- 
tled. The  body  was  for  a  third  time  laid  to  rest,  but  the  Morgan  excitement 
knew  no  repose.  The  Daily  Advertiser  of  the  day  after  these  events  contained 
a  paragraph  saying  that  Mr.  Weed  had  declared  that,  whatever  might  be 
proven  to  the  contrary,  the  corpse  found  at  Oak  Orchard  was  "a  good  enough 
Morgan  till  after  election."  This  phrase,  which  long  ago  attained  the  im- 
portance of  a  familiar  quotation,  was  repudiated  at  the  time  by  Mr.  Weed, 
though  unsuccessfully,  but  his  explanation,  as  given  in  his  autobiography,  pub- 
lished last  year,  ought  to  extinguish  the  wrong  credit  given  to  him.  Eben- 
ezer  Griffin,  one  of  the  counsel  of  those  charged  with  the  abduction,  said  to 
him:  "After  we  have  proven  that  the  body  found  at  Oak  Orchard  is  that  of 
Timothy  Munroe,  what  will  you  do  for  a  Morgan?  "  To  which  Mr.  Weed  re- 
plied :  "That  is  a  good  enough  Morgan  for  us  until  you  bring  back  the  one  you 
have  carried  off." 

9 


124  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Through  the  following  year  the  fever  of  partisanship  continued.  Great 
numbers  of  clergymen  and  others  renounced  the  order,  while  others  gave  up 
all  active  participation  in  its  councils  but  were  still  known  as  "adhering 
Masons."  Finally,  in  1829,  as  the  hostility  to  the  society  in  this  locality  in- 
creased rather  than  diminished  in  bitterness,  the  part  of  wisdom  was  taken  and 
all  the  Masonic  institutions  in  Rochester  and  the  surrounding  country  ceased 
to  exist,  being  abolished  by  surrendering  their  charters  to  the  grand  lodge. 
Many  of  our  prominent  citizens  who  were  instrumental  in  the  adoption  of  this 
conciliatory  course  united  publicly  in  assigning  their  reasons,  which  were  after- 
ward embodied  in  an  address  that  was  circulated  through  the  newspapers  and 
in  pamphlet  form.  After  remaining  dormant  for  more  than  a  dozen  years  in 
this  locality  the  institution  of  Masonry  again  sprang  to  life  in  1843,  when  the 
angry  passions  of  its  opponents  had  passed  away,  and  soon  acquired  a  stronger 
hold  in  the  community  than  it  had  ever  before  possessed. 

The  first  directory  of  the  village,  from  which  many  of  the  minor  items 
previously  rehearsed  have  been  taken,  and  which  since  its  publication  has 
formed  the  basis  of  all  histories  of  Rochester,  was  published  in  1827,  and  the 
record  for  that  year  may  give  place  to  a  glance  at  its  pages.  It -begins  with 
the  names  of  the  inhabitants,  divided  into  two  lists  —  first,  the  householders, 
separated  into  wards  under  the  initial  letter  of  the  surname,  and  then  the 
boarders,  segregated  in  the  same  manner,  with  their  occupations  and  the  names 
of  those  with  whom  they  boarded.  Then  comes  a  description  of  the  county 
of  Monroe  and  its  environs,  followed  by  that  of  the  village  of  Rochester,  ter- 
minating with  its  record  of  events.  After  that  we  have  a  list  of  the  regula- 
tions adopted  by  the  trustees,  the  first  of  which  reads:  "Householders  must 
clean  and  keep  clean  the  sidewalks  and  streets  opposite  their  premises,  except 
in  specified  cases;  fine  for  neglect,  $5."  This  was  evidently  not  specific 
enough,  for  the  second  regulation  after  it  says  that  "  they  must  sweep  and 
clean  the  sidewalks  opposite  their  dwellings,  every  Saturday,  from  the  first  day 
of  April  till  the  first  day  of  November;  fine  for  each  neglect,  $1."  The 
directions  for  the  prevention  and  extinguishment  of  fires  are  very  minute,  and 
those  calculated  to  preserve  the  public  health  almost  equally  so.  The  real  or 
supposed  interests  of  morality  were  carefully  looked  after,  for  no  nine-pin  alley 
was  to  be  kept,  under  a  penalty  of  $5  per  day,  theatrical  representations 
were  restrained  by  ordinance  and  the  keeping  of  billiard  tables  for  gaming  was 
prohibited,  while  tavern-keepers  and  grocers  were  forbidden  to  keep  them  at 
all,  perhaps  because  they  were  considered  peculiarly  addicted  to  hazard.  Then 
are  given  the  officers  of  the  corporation,  then  the  religious  societies,  then  the 
benevolent,  then  the  literary  and  other  institutions,  the  newspapers,  the  post- 
office,  and  the  bank.  The  population  is  alluded  to  as  being  "composed  chiefly 
of  emigrants  from  New  England  and  the  other  states  of  the  Union,  together  with 
a  considerable  number  from  England,  Ireland,  Scotland  and  Germany,  and  a  few 


Sam  Patch — His  Fatal  Leap.  125 

natives  of  Norway  and  Switzerland."  A  list  of  the  principal  occupations  pursued 
by  them  shows  that  three  hundred  and  four  were  carpenters,  one  hundred  and 
twenty-four  shoemakers,  twenty-five  physicians,  twenty-eight  lawyers,  seven 
clergymen,  thirty-one  printers,  etc.  The  trade  in  lumber  is  spoken  of  as  very 
considerable,  and  the  commerce  on  the  canal  is  mentioned,  with  the  statement 
that  "passengers  are  charged  one  and  a  half  cents  a  mile,  exclusive  of  board, 
which  is  about  fifty  cents  a  day."  The  public  edifices  are  described,  including 
the  market,  which  was  then  building  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Main  and  Front 
streets,  and  which  fell  into  the  river  a  few  years  later.  The  little  book  con- 
cludes with  this  sentence:  "We  look  forward  to  this  place  at  some  distant 
day  as  a  flourishing  city,  flourishing  not  merely  in  wealth  and  power  but  in 
knowledge  and  virtue,  an  honor  and  a  blessing  to  sister  cities  around,  and  the 
home  of  a  great  people,  enlightened  and  happy." 

The  year  1828  was  signalised  by  no  important  incidents,  but  the  fate  of  a 
young  artist  excited  the  deepest  sympathy  for  a  long  time  after  his  death, 
which  occurred  on  Sunday,  September  21st.  The  Mechanics'  Institute  had 
commissioned  the  celebrated  painter  George  Catlin  to  execute  a  portrait  of 
De  Witt  Clinton,  which  when  finished  was  brought  to  Rochester  by  Julius  Cat- 
lin, a  younger  brother  of  the  artist.  Young  Catlin,  who  was  also  a  painter, 
set  out  one  fine  day  to  make  sketches  of  the  lower  falls.  Descending  to  the 
water's  edge  he  endeavored  to  reach  a  sand-bar  near  the  center  of  the  river, 
probably  to  get  a  better  view  of  the  scene.  When  £^bout  half  way  across  the 
channel  he  was  seized  with  cramps  and  ere  assistance  could  arrive  he  had  per- 
ished. An  elegant  gold  watch  and  chain,  seen  in  his  possession  a  short  time 
before  he  entered  the  water,  were  missing,  and  the  suspicion  arose  that  he  had 
been  foully  dealt  with  by  a  man  who  was  fishing  at  the  time  near  by,  but  this 
gave  way  upon  investigation.  The  funeral  of  the  unfortunate  Catlin  was  held 
at  the  Episcopal  church  in  this  city  on  Tuesday,  September  23d,  and  a  sermon 
was  preached  by  Rev.  Mr.  Gear,  after  which  the  body  was  followed  to  the 
grave  by  a  large  number  of  persons  and  interred  with  appropriate  ceremonies. 

No  event  particularly  conducive  to  the  growth  or  welfare  of  the  village  marks 
the  year  1829,  but  it  is  made  forever  memorable  in  local  history  by  the  last 
and  fatal  leap  of  Sam  Patch.  Sam  was  a  person  whose  celebrity  was  not  con- 
fined to  this  neighborhood,  though  his  home  was  here,  at  least  as  much  as  any- 
where else,  for  he  had  acquired  a  reputation,  some  time  before  his  final  plunge 
into  the  water,  by  making  an  aquatic  descent  at  Paterson,  N.  J.,  and  by  jump- 
ing into  Niagara  river  from  a  rock  projecting  from  the  bank  more  than  half 
the  height  of  the  cataract.  He  had  a  habit,  more  prominent  when  he  was  in 
his  usual  condition  of  inebriety  than  when  he  was  perfectly  sober,  of  saying 
that  "some  things  can  be  done  as  well  as  others,"  and  it  was  the  reduction  of 
this  platitude  to  an  absurdity  that  cost  him  his  life.  On  the  8th  of  November 
he  leaped  over  the  precipice  close  to  the  Genesee  falls,  a  distance  of  ninety-six 


1 26  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

feet,  accompanied  in  his  plunge  by  a  tame  bear.  Both  beings  came  to  the  sur- 
face soon  after  striking  the  water,  as  much  satisfied  with  the  entertainment  as 
were  the  crowd  of  spectators.  Not  content  with  this  success,  Sam  announced 
that  he  would  exceed  that  performance,  and  so  on  the  13th  of  the  same  month 
he  ascended  a  scaffolding  twenty  feet  higher  than  the  brink  of  the  falls,  where 
he  harangued  in  maudlin  fashion  the  immense  throng  that  swarmed  on  earth 
and  roof  and  branch.  As  he  proceeded,  he  became  conscious  of  his  weakness, 
and  to  revive  his  failing  courage  he  took  another  draught  of  liquor.  The  effect 
was  the  reverse  of  what  he  hoped  for ;  his  nerves  became  unstrung,  but  he  was 
not  the  man  to  retreat,  even  with  death  staring  him  in  the  face ;  in  desperation 
he  rushed  forward  and  took  the  terrific  plunge,  falling  rather  than  leaping,  and 
striking  the  water,  not  with  his  feet  but  upon  his  side,  and  with  a  force,  as  was 
estimated  at  the  time,  of  more  than  4,000  pounds.  He  did  not  rise  to  view, 
and  no  trace  of  the  rash  adventurer  was  found  throughout  the  winter.  Rumors 
were  afloat  that  he  had  been  seen,  but  they  were  baseless  and  were  disproved 
in  the  following  spring,  when  his  mangled  body,  with  the  limbs  broken,  was 
found  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  was  buried  in  the  little  cemetery  at  Char- 
lotte. 

It  was  in  this  year  that  our  village  narrowly  escaped  the  attainment  of  celeb- 
rity on  account  of  its  connection  with  another  mountebank,  of  brighter  intellect 
than  poor  Sam  Patch,  and  of  infinitely  greater  capacity  for  rnischief,  who  was 
then  about  to  introduce  to  the  world  a  new  religion,  destined  to  carry  in  its 
train  a  long  Hne  of  miseries  that  would  have  appalled  even  the  stolid  heart  of  its 
founder,  could  he  have  foreseen  them,  and  probably  deterred  him  from  his 
course.  The  story  is  told  by  Thurlow  Weed,  in  his  autobiography,  in  these 
words :  — 

"  A  stout,  round,  smooth-faced  young  man,  between  twenty-five  and  thirty,  with  the 
air  and  manners  of  a  person  without  occupation,  came  into  the  Rochester  Telegraph 
office  and  said  he  wanted  a  book  printed,  and  added  that  he  had  been  directed  in  a 
vision  to  a  place  in  the  woods  near  Palmyra,  where  he  resided,  and  that  he  found  a 
'golden  Bible,'  from  which  he  was  directed  to  copy  the  book  that  he  wanted  published. 
He  then  placed  what  he  called  a  'tablet'  in  his  hat,  from  which  he  read  a  chapter  of 
the  'book  of  Mormon,'  a  chapter  which  seemed  so  senseless  that  I  thought  the  man 
either  crazed  or  a  very  shallow  impostor,  and  therefore  declined  to  become  a  publisher, 
thus  depriving  myself  of  whatever  notoriety  might  have  been  achieved  by  having  my 
name  imprinted  upon  the  title  page  of  the  first  Mormon  Bible.  It  is  scarcely  necessary 
to  ^dd  that  this  individual  was  Joseph  Smith,  the  founder  of  the  Mormon  creed.  On 
the  day  but  one  following  he  came  again,  accompanied  by  Martin  Harris,  a  substantial 
farmer  residing  near  Palmyra,  who  had  adopted  the  Mormon  faith  and  who  offered  to 
become  security  for  the  expense  of  printing.  But  I  again  declined,  and  he  subsequently 
found  a  publisher  in  E.  B.  Grandin,  of  Palmyra,  in  1830." 

In  1830  St.  Paul's  church  was  finished  and  consecrated,  the  builder  being 
Elisha  Johnson,  whose  authority  as  president  of  the  board  of  trustees  at  the  time 
enabled  him  to  procure  a  change  of  the  name  of  the  street  on  which  the  edifice 


The  Cholera  Epidemic  in  1832.  127 

stood,  from  River  to  St.  Paul.  The  last  wolf  seen  wild  in  the  county  was  killed 
in  February,  near  Irondequoit  bay,  after  being  hunted  for  five  days  by  nearly 
a  hundred  persons  from  Rochester  and  adjacent  villages ;  he  was  five  and  a 
half  feet  long,  and  had  destroyed  many  sheep  before  he  was  tracked;  up  to  some 
twenty-five  years  ago  his  stuffed  skin  stood  before  a  hat  store  opposite  the  Ar- 
cade. In  this  year  Dr.  Joel  Parker,  then  pastor  of  the  Third  Presbyterian 
church,  preached  a  discourse  for  the  benefit  of  the  Female  Charitable  society, 
at  which  was  sung  an  ode  composed  for  the  occasion  by  Judge  Harvey  Hum- 
phrey, the  first  verse  of  which  is  as  follows : — 

"All  hail  to  thee,  Charity  !  daughter  of  heaven  ! 

Best,  sweetest  of  mercies  to  lost  mortals  given  ! 

Oh,  dark  were  our  journey,  through  life's  weary  day, 

Without  thy  bright  smile  to  illumine  our  way." 
The  next  year  seems  to  have  been  marked  by  few  events  of  local  im- 
portance. Col.  Nathaniel  Rochester  died  on  the  31st  of  May;  a  sketch  of  his 
Hfe  will  be  found  in  another  place.  The  first  cargo  of  wheat  from  Ohio  to 
Rochester  was  brought  by  the  old  Hudson  and  Erie  line,  to  Hervey  Ely.  The 
Monroe  County  Horticultural  society  was  organised  on  the  8th  of  October, 
with  James  K.  Guernsey  as  president,  Orrin  E.  Gibbs  as  treasurer,  and  Hestor 
L.  Stevens  as  recording  secretary ;  a  fine  exhibition  of  flowers  was  made  in  the 
Arcade. 

No  charge  of  lack  of  interest  can  be  made  against  the  record  of  1832,  but 
the  predominant  interest  is  of  a  sad  and  gloomy  character,  for  it  was  the  first 
year  of  the  cholera  in  this  locality.  Toward  the  close  of  the  spring  the  dreaded 
scourge  had  appeared  in  New  York  city  and  Montreal,  and  in  anticipation  of 
its  arrival  in  this  village  a  public  meeting  was  held  here  to  devise  measures  to 
prevent  its  coming,  if  possible,  or,  at  the  worst,  to  mitigate  its  destructiveness. 
Dr.  Ward,  Dr.  Coleman,  Dr.  Reid,  Everard  Peck  and  Ashbel  W.  Riley  (who 
became  a  major-general  in  the  militia  service  a  few  year  later,  since  which  time 
he  has  been  universally  known  by  his  title)  were  appointed  a  board  of  health, 
and  Dr.  Coleman  was  sent  to  Montreal  to  learn  as  to  the  best  methods  of  pre- 
vention and  of  treatment;  the  village  was  districted  and  every  precaution 
taken,  but  all  in  vain.  The  first  case  was  that  of  a  stranger,  whose  name  was 
never  learned.  He  had  just  arrived  here  and  was  stopping  at  a  little  tavern  on 
South  St.  Paul  street,  below  Court,  kept  by  J.  Polly.  When  his  case  was  re- 
ported Mr.  Riley  attended  him  and  did  all  that  could  be  done  for  him,  but  he 
died  the  same  day  and  was  interred  in  the  old  burying-ground  on  Monroe 
avenue,  where  the  bodies  of  all  the  victims  of  the  disease  in  that  year  were 
laid.  From  that  time  on,  all  through  the  blazing  months  of  July  and  August, 
the  pestilence  stalked  through  the  little  town,  and  wherever  it  went  Mr.  Riley 
went  with  it,  without  hesitation,  without  fear,  without  rest,  except  what  was 
absolutely  necessary.  One  hundred  and  eighteen  died  during  the  summer, 
and  eighty  of  that  number  he  placed  in  their  cofiins  with  his  own  hand,  almost 


128  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

invariably  unaided  and  alone.  His  noble  work  was  not  confined  to  that  season, 
for  although  the  frightful  contagion  passed  us  by  for  the  next  year,  it  came 
back  in  1834.  The  faithful  guardian  of  the  public  health,  then  in  New  York, 
heard  that  the  epidemic  had  appeared  here,  a  man  named  Van  Kleeck  having 
died  at  the  mouth  of  the  river.  The  officer  hastened  back  to  his  post  and  was 
immediately  appointed  superintendent  of  the  cholera;  nurses  were  placed 
under  his  command  and  an  old  cooper-shop  on  Brown  street  was  fitted  up  as  a 
hospital,  where  those  smitten  with  the  disease  were  taken  unless  they  had 
friends  to  take  care  of  them  at  home,  but,  in  spite  of  all,  fifty-four  died  and 
their  remains  were  buried  in  the  cemetery  on  West  avenue. 

St.  Patrick's  day  fell  on  Sunday  in  1833,  and  so  its  observance  was  post- 
poned till  the  next  day,  March  i8th,  when  the  celebration  consisted  principally 
of  a  public  dinner  at  the  Franklin  House,  then  kept  by  James  Tone.  Henry 
O'Rielly  presided,  with  Gen.  Hestor  L.  Stevens,  Isaac  R.  Elwood,  W.  A.  Rab- 
beson  and  John  O'Donoughue  officiating  as  vice-presidents  at  the  different 
tables.  Long  speeches  were  made  by  Mr.  O'Rielly  and  Judge  P.  G.  Buchan. 
In  the  first  month  of  this  year  a  charity  school  was  established  by  the  society 
of  St.  Luke's  church  for  the  free  education  of  the  poor  children  of  the  city, 
which  was  undoubtedly  not  denominational  in  its  work,  for  the  directory  of 
1834  states  that  upward  of  400  persons  under  the  age  of  fifteen  had  received 
instruction  in  it  during  the  previous  year.  The  teacher  was  G.  P.  Waldo,  and 
the  school  was  established  during  the  rectorate  of  the  Rev.  Dr.  Whitehouse, 
afterward  bishop  of  Illinois.  With  the  mention  of  this  noble  though  infant 
charity  the  record  of  Rochester  as  a  village  comes  fittingly  to  a  close. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 


ROCHESTER  AS  A  CITY. 


Its  Incorporation  in  1834  —  Organisation  of  the  Government  and  Inauguration  of  Mayor  Child  — 
He  Conscientiously  Resigns  the  Office  —  The  River  Steamboat  —  The  Flood  of  1835  —  The  Navy 
Island  Raid  —  The  First  Murder  in  the  County  —  The  First  Foundry  —  Anti-Slavery  Movements  — 
Bringing  the  Bones  of  Patriot  Soldiers  to  Mount  Hope  —  The  Printers'  Festival  —  Mexican  War 
Volunteers  —  Woman's  Rights'  Convention. 

TO  the  repeated  applications  of  the  villagers  of  Rochester  the  legislature 
finally  yielded,  passing  an  act  in  the  early  part  of  1834  for  the  incorpora- 
tion of  the  city.  The  charter  was  a  long  one,  divided  into  eleven  titles,  con- 
taining in  all  276  sections.  These  provided  minutely  for  the  government  of 
the  new  city  and  for  the  maintenance  of  the  public  welfare  in  almost  every 
conceivable   manner.     The  limits  of  the  village  were  much  extended,  though 


Incorporation  of  Rochester  as  a  City.  129 

principally  toward  the  north  in  a  narrow  strip  which  embraced  the  lower  falls 
and  the  old  steamboat  landing  near  there,  taking  in  a  portion  of  the  McCracken 
tract  on  the  west  side  of  the  river  and  the  Carthage  tract  on  the  east,  and  the 
whole  area  of  the  new  city  was  4,000  acres.  On  the  2d  of  June  the  common 
council  and  supervisors  were  elected,  of  whom  only  one  is  now  living.  Gen.  A. 
W.  Riley,  who  was  the  first  alderman  from  the  fourth  ward.  A  week  later  the 
council  elected  Jonathan  Child  mayor  of  the  city,  Vincent  Mathews  attorney 
and  counsel,  Samuel  Works  superintendent,  John  C.  Nash  clerk,  E.  F.  Mar- 
shall treasurer,  and  William  H.  Ward  chief  engineer.  On  the  loth  of  June 
Mayor  Child  was  inaugurated,  and  the  following  extract  from  his  address  then 
delivered  will  show  the  potency  and  promise  of  the  little  municipality  fifty 
years  ago  :  — 

"  The  rapid  progress  which  our  place  has  made,  from  a  wilderness  to  an  incorporated 
city,  authorises  each  of  our  citizens  proudly  to  reflect  upon  the  agency  he  has  had  in 
bringing  about  this  great  and  interesting  change.  Rochester  has  had  little  aid  in  its 
])ermanent  improvement  from  foreign  capital.  It  has  been  settled  and  built  for  the  most 
])art  by  mechanics  and  merchants,  whose  capital  was  economy,  industry  and  persever- 
ance. It  is  their  labor  and  skill  which  have  converted  a  wilderness  into  a  city ;  and  to 
them  surely  this  must  be  a  day  of  pride  and  joy.  They  have  founded  and  reared  a  city 
before  they  have  passed  the  meridian  of  life.  In  other  countries  and  times  the  city  of 
Rochester  would  have  been  the  result  of  the  labor  and  accumulations  of  successive  gen- 
erations ;  but  the  men  who  felled  the  forest  that  grew  on  the  spot  where  we  are  assem- 
bled are  sitting  at  the  council-board  of  our  city.  Well,  then,  may  we  indulge  an  honest 
pride  as  we  look  back  upon  our  past  history,  and  let  the  review  elevate  our  hopes  and  an- 
imate our  exertions.  Together  we  have  struggled  through  the  hardships  of  an  infant  settle- 
ment and  the  embarrassments  of  straitened  circumstances,  and  together  let  us  rejoice 
and  be  happy  in  the  glorious  reward  that  has  crowned  our  labors.  In  the  intercourse  of 
social  life,  and  on  all  occasions  involving  the  interests  of  our  young  city,  let  us  forget  our 
politics  and  our  party,  and  seek  only  the  public  good.  The  fortunes  of  us  all  are  em- 
barked in  a  common  bottom,  and  it  cannot  be  too  much  to  expect  a  union  of  counsels 
and  exertions  to  secure  their  safety.'' 

Apart  from  the  organisation  of  the  city  government  a  step  forward  was 
taken  in  this  city  in  1834,  which  it  was  thought  at  the  time  would  be  the  be- 
ginning of  greater  things  in  the  same  direction.  As  an  improvement  upon  the 
flat-boats  which  before  that  time  were  poled  up  the  river,  above  the  dam,  a 
steamboat  was  built  and  put  into  operation,  to  run  from  here  to  Geneseo,  an 
event  which  was  talked  about  through  the  whole  country  and  which  seemed  to 
the  villagers  of  Dansville,  Geneseo  and  Mt.  Morris  to  be  the  opening  up  to  them 
of  the  outside  world.  She  was  called  the  Genesee,  was  a  stern-wheeler,  flat-bot- 
tom and  capable  of  carrying  more  than  three  hundred  passengers,  besides  towing 
other  boats,  of  which  there  were  twenty  or  thirty  in  use,  for  which  purpose  she 
was  in  great  part  designed.  Her  captain  was  J.  W.  Phillips,  who,  during  the 
war  of  1812,  had  brought  flour  down  from  Geneseo  and  Wheatland  and  carried 
it  by  teams  to  Albany.     The  landing  was  made  at  the  Rapids,  aiid  carryalls 


1 30  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

were  stationed  there  to  bring  the  passengers  down  to  the  center  of  the  city. 
After  the  Genesee  had  made  the  voyage  for  two  seasons  the  enterprise  was 
abandoned,  and  the  vessel  was  run  over  the  dam  and  broken  up. 

Mayor  Child  showed  that  he  was  true  to  his  convictions  of  right.  During 
all  of  his  term  of  office  he  had  been  unalterably  opposed  to  the  granting  of  any 
licenses  for  the  sale  of  ardent  spirits,  confident  that  their  public  use  was  a  seri- 
ous detriment  to  the  welfare  of  the  city.  The  common  council  of  the  first  year, 
although  opposed  to  licensing  in  general,  differed  with  him  as  to  the  strict  ap- 
plication of  the  principle  and  had  permited  four  grocers  to  sell  the  intoxicat- 
ing fluid,  believing  that  a  gradual  reform  would  be  more  satisfactory  to  the  cit- 
izens than  an  absolute  denial  of  all  applications.  The  new  board,  however, 
which  came  in  in  June,  1835,  were  far  more  lax  than  their  predecessors  and  at 
once  granted  so  many  licenses  that  Mr.  Child,  rather  than  sign  the  permits,  re- 
signed on  the  23d  of  that  month  the  office  of  mayor,  from  which  he  would  have 
otherwise  have  retired  on  the  first  of  the  next  January,  as  the  mayor  and  com- 
mon council  were  not,  after  the  beginning,  to  enter  upon  their  duties  at  the 
same  period.  The  resignation  was  accepted  and  the  recorder,  Isaac  Hills,  was 
authorised  to  sign  all  tavern  and  grocery  licenses  till  a  new  mayor  was  chosen, 
which  election  took  place  on  the  2d  of  July  and  General  Jacob  Gould  entered 
upon  the  duties  of  the  office.  A  great  flood  occurred  in  this  year,  which,  though 
not  so  disastrous  as  that  of  thirty  years  later,  was  worse  than  anything  that  had 
taken  place  before  its  own  time ;  up  the  river  vast  damage  was  done  to  hay  and 
corn ;  at  this  point  Buffalo  street  was  overflowed  as  far  west  as  the  Arcade 
and  much  injury  was  done  to  goods  in  cellars  ;  at  the  lower  falls  the  new  bridge 
was  swept  away ;  careful  measurements  made  by  Hervey  Ely  showed  that  the 
quantity  of  water  which  then  passed  was  as  much  as  21164,000  cubic  feet  in  a 
minute.  The  Rochester  Academy  of  Sacred  Music  was  organised  in  October; 
the  names  of  the  original  officers  are  not  known,  but  in  1837  Addison  Gardiner 
was  president,  James  M.  Fish  secretary  and  Edward  R.  Walker  professor,  with 
F.  F.  Backus,  L.  B  Swan  and  Moses  Long  as  music  committee  ;  its  object  was 
"the  cultivation  of  sacred  music  generally,  but  more  particularly  of  the  music 
in  churches  and  for  charitable  purposes." 

In  1836  the  first  Andrews  street  bridge  was  built;  the  first  balloon  ascen- 
sion was  made,  by  a  Frenchman  named  Lauriatt,  from  a  vacant  lot  where  the 
Waverley  House  and  Congress  Hall  now  stand ;  hydrogen  gas  was  used,  made 
from  acids ;  the  most  remarkable  part  of  the  show  was  the  falling  of  the  roof  of 
a  blacksmith  shop  at  a  corner  of  the  inclosure,  with  several  men  on  it,  one  of 
whom,  named  Frisbie,  fell  on  an  ax  that  was  screwed  in  a  vise  with  the 
handle  up  and  forced  it  completely  through  the  fleshy  part  of  his  thigh,  be- 
tween the  great  muscle  and  the  bone ;  the  man  being  thus  impaled,  Dr.  W.  W. 
Reid,  one  of  the  best  surgeons  of  his  time,  had  to  saw  through  the  ax-handle  in 
order  to  extract  it;  Frisbie  was  so  little  affected  by  the  performance  that  he 


jMhi 


*     .- 


rf-"' 


JONATHAN  CHILD. 


The  Patriot  War.  i  3 1 


was  at  his  work  a  short  time  after,  and  thirty  years  later  was  a  strong  and 
hearty  old  man.  This  must  have  been  a  very  quiet  year  among  our  fathers — 
though  pro-slavery  riots  were  common  enough  in  other  cities — for  General 
Gould,  who  had  been  elected  to  succeed  hiniself,  made  these  remarks  in  the 
course  of  his  address  on  giving  up  the  mayoralty  on  the  last  day  of  Decem- 
ber:— 

"  Our  city  has  also  been  remarkably  distinguished  for  peace  and  good  order,  and  hap- 
pily delivered  from  the  fire  that  devours  the  property  and  the  pestilence  that  destroys 
the  lives  of  our  citizens.  During  the  period  of  my  office,  nearly  two  years,  I  wish  it  to  be 
remembered  as  a  most  extraordinary  and  to  me  most  gratifying  fact,  that,  with  a  popula- 
tion averaging  1 6,000,  I  have  never  been  called  upon  to  interfere,  nor  has  there  ever 
been  occasion  to  do  so,  for  the  suppression  of  riot,  mob,  tumult,  or  even  an  ordinary 
case  of  assault.  This  fact  speaks  a  most  gratifying  eulogy  for  our  civil  and  religious  in- 
stitutions, and  for  the  intelligence  and  morality  in  the  community  in  which  we  live." 

Several  events  made  1837.  ^  memorable  year  to  the  people  of  this  locality. 
The  great  financial  crisis,  followed  by  depression  and  widespread  bankruptcy 
among  the  merchants,  was  severely  felt  here  by  all  classes,  the  poorer  ones  be- 
ing the  most  affected  by  it,  and  it  was  mainly  for  the  purpose  of  giving  employ- 
ment to  the  great  number  of  laborers  who  would  otherwise  have  been  out  of 
work  that  Buffalo  street  west  of  King  street  was  then  cut  down  to  its  present 
level.  On  the  other  side  of  the  lake  a  ferment  of  dissatisfaction  had  during  the 
whole  summer  pervaded  the  province  of  Ontario  (then  Canada  West),  and  a 
newspaper  edited  by  William  Lyon  Mackenzie,  a  restless  demagogue,  had  so 
stirred  up  the  minds  of  the  Canadians  that  in  the  autumn  something  like  an 
armed  rebellion  broke  out.  A  feeling  of  sympathy  for  the  insurgents,  who  were 
rioters  rather  than  patriots,  spread  throughout  this  part  of  the  state,  and  a  party 
of  men,  who  had  nothing  else  to  do,  under  a  man  named  Van  Rensselaer, 
took  possession  of  Navy  island,  in  the  Niagara  river,  and  issued  proclamations 
urging  all  persons  to  join  them  in  aid  of  the  insurrection.  The  fever  increased 
and  people  flocked  to  the  island  from  all  quarters  ;  carried  away  by  the  excite- 
ment and  actuated  by  a  sentiment  that  seems  inexplicable,  large  sums  of 
money  were  advanced  by  an  active  committee  in  this  city,  to  forward  men  and 
means  by  wagons  and  post-coaches,  and  so  well  were  their  appeals  responded 
to  in  every  school  district  of  the  county  that  wagon  loads  of  all  conceivable 
kind  of  things  came  pouring  in  and  were  stored  in  one  wing  of  the  market, 
arms  and  accoutrements  in  all  stages  of  dilapidation,  provisions  of  every  variety 
and  blankets  and  coverlets  enough  to  envelop  the  whole  island. 

While  this  was  going  on,  the  news  came  one  Saturday  evening  that  the 
British  troops  had  come  across  the  river  to  the  American  side,  set  the  steamer 
Caroline  on  fire,  cut  her  adrift  and  sent  her  over  the  falls  with  sixty  persons  on 
board.  This  was  enough  to  arouse  the  whole  city ;  the  people  gathered  about 
the  Eagle  Hotel,  and  the  mayor  had  to  read  the  bulletin  again  and  again ;  the 
officers  of  the  militia  met,  and  the  soldiers  were  on  the  point  of  being  called 


132  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

out.  Sunday  intervened  without  further  news,  and  on  the  following  Monday 
it  was  learned  that  the  story  of  the  steamboat  was  true,  except  that  part  which 
related  to  the  loss  of  life,  for  there  was  nobody  on  board  of  her  when  she  de- 
scended the  falls.  More  recruits  rushed  to  the  island,  gun-houses  were  rifled 
of  their  contents  here  and  elsewhere,  and  a  real  war  seemed  about  to  be  precip- 
itated between  the  two  countries  by  the  popular  madness.  Before  the  patience 
of  the  Canadian  government  gave  out,  however,  our  own  interfered ;  General 
Scott  was  ordered  to  the  frontier ;  with  a  few  troops  he  cleared  off  the  island ; 
the  authorities  on  the  other  side  sentenced  about^a  dozen  persons  to  transpor- 
tation to  Botany  Bay  for  life,  though  it  afterward  pardoned  those  of  the  convicts 
who  were  American  citizens,  and  so  the  Navy  island  raid  came  to  an  end. 
Mackenzie,  the  leader  of  the  rebellion,  escaped  to  New  York,  and  finally,  in  Jan- 
uary, 1839,  came  up  here,  where  he  started  a  weekly  paper,  called  the  Gazette, 
intending  to  make  further  trouble  for  the  Canadian  government;  in  June  of 
that  year  he  was  tried  at  Canandaigua  for  violation  of  the  neutrality  laws,  was 
convicted  and  sentenced  to  imprisonment  in  our  jail  for  eighteen  months ;  within 
a  year  he  was  pardoned  and  disappeared. 

An  affair  of  more  purely  local  interest,  though  productive  of  an  excite- 
ment almost  equally  great,  and  an  interest  more  lasting,  was  the  murder  of 
William  Lyman  by  Octavius  Barron,  on  the  night  of  the  23d  of  October.  Ly- 
man was  a  grain  buyer  employed  by  Joseph  Strong,  the  proprietor  of  the  City 
mills,  and  he  started  homeward  for  the  last  time  with  nearly  $6,000  in  his  pos- 
session. Barron,  a  young  Frenchman,  only  eighteen  years  old,  induced  two 
other  men,  named  Bennett  and  Fluett,  to  follow  Lyman  with  him,  and  when 
their  victim  had  reached  an  open  lot  between  North  St.  Paul  and  Clinton 
streets,  near  his  home  at  the  corner  of  what  is  now  Clinton  place,  they  shot 
him  through  the  back  of  the  head,  killing  him  outright,  and  after  taking  $500 
from  his  person,  though  they  missed  $5,000,  which  was  in  his  hat,  they  went 
to  a  saloon  to  divide  the  money,  and  it  was  mainly  on  the  testimony  of  some 
girls  who  were  employed  in  a  millinery  shop,  back  of  the  bar  room,  that  Bar- 
ron was  convicted.  The  body  of  Lyman  was  found  by  Judge  Humphrey  the 
next  morning,  and  the  horror  of  the  whole  community  over  the  first  murder 
in  Monroe  county  continued  without  abatement  until  the  perpetrator  had  paid 
the  penalty  of  his  crime.  He  was  tried  on  the  28th  of  the  following  May, 
being  defended  by  a  lawyer  named  Bennett  —  residing  at  Lima,  though  he 
was  at  the  same  time  president  of  the  Dansville  bank  —  while  the  prosecution 
was  conducted  by  William  S.  Bishop,  the  district  attorney,  assisted  by  Mark 
H.  Sibley,  of  Canandaigua ;  Barron  was  convicted  one  week  later,  and  was 
hanged  on  the  2Sth  of  June,  1838.  His  accomplices  obtained  a  change  of 
venue,  and  were  tried  at  Batavia,  where,  by  some  legal  technicality,  they  escaped 
the  punishment  of  their  awful  deed.  Darius  Perrin,  who  was  the  sheriff  at  the 
time,  performed  the  execution  of  Barron,  but  declined  the  usual  fee  of  $500, 


oMi 


a  S!«SFKS»!ftSftS««5«5 


K  ^?  -  ~  ■■ 


Thk  First  Murders  in  Monr(je  County.  133 

and  the  supervisors  showed  their  appreciation  of  his  delicacy  of  feeling  by 
throwing  out  of  his  bill  of  expenses  an  item  of  $1.50  for  the  flax  rope  used  on 
the  occasion,  which  was  made  at  the  old  rope-walk  on  Buffalo  street,  near  St. 
Mary's  hospital. 

The  curse  of  Cain  having  come  upon  the  infant  city,  the  guilt  of  murder 
seemed  indissolubly  connected  with  the  place  by  a  repetition  of  the  crime  in 
1838,  even  before  the  first  assassin  was  tried.  On  the  evening  of  May  4th 
Austin  Squires  shot  dead  his  wife  as  she  was  removing  >  some  garments  from  a 
clothes-line  in  the  rear  of  their  residence,  on  the  corner  of  Lancaster  street 
and  Monroe  avenue ;  the  deed  was  dorie  in  a  fit  of  jealousy,  and  while  the 
perpetrator  was  in  a  condition  of  intoxication,  besides  which  he  was  a  man  of 
eccentric  mind,  and  many  considered  him  lacking  in  full  moral  responsibility, 
but  the  plea  of  insanity  had  not  then  been  brought  to  its  present  state  of 
artistic  development,  so  he  was  tried  in  October,  and  hanged  on  the  29th  of 
November,  at  the  age  of  thirty-five. 

It  is  pleasing  to  turn  from  the  necessary  record  of  these  horrors  to  the  de- 
tails of  peaceful  avocations,  prominent  among  them  being  the  transformation 
of  the  old  Gilbert  warehouse,  a  doorless  and  windowless  skeleton  with  a 
haunted  reputation,  which  stood  at  the  upper  end  of  the  canal  bridge  on  South 
St.  Paul  street,  at  the  junction  of  the  feeder  with  the  Erie  canal;  William  H. 
Cheney  rented  it  from  Dr.  Elwood,  who  was  then  its  owner,  put  in  an  engine 
and  boiler,  and  started  a  furnace  and  foundry,  casting  the  first  cooking- stove 
made  in  this  part  of  the  country,  after  an  old  "saddle-bags"  pattern  gotten  up 
in  Philadelphia;  he  stayed  there  for  eight  years,  when  he  moved  his  furnace  to 
St.  Paul  street,  just  below  Court.  Henry  O'Rielly  (the  spelling  being  changed 
from  its  original  form,  in  conformity  to  his  wish)  published  h.\^  Sketches  of 
Rochester,  with  Incidental  Notices  of  Western  New  York,  a  valuable  work, 
requiring  a  good  deal  of  research,  and  one  whose  merit  has  been  generally 
recognised  from  that  time  to  this.  The  book  was  published  by  subscription, 
and  the  interest  which  was  at  that  time  felt  in  the  preservation  of  the  records 
of  the  settlement  in  permanent  form,  may  be  judged  from  the  fact  that  many 
citizens  subscribed  for  a  large  number  of  copies,  thirty  being  taken  by  A.  M. 
Schermerhorn,  the  same  number  by  Jonathan  Child,  by  Fletcher  M.  Haight 
and  by  John  Allen  &  Co.,  while  thirteen  others  took  twenty-five  each,  and  so 
on,  660  copies  being  taken  by  thirty-five  individuals  or  firms.  The  Rochester 
Anti-slavery  society  was  formed  on  the  4th  of  January,  the  following  officers 
being  elected:  Lindley  M.  Moore,  president;  George  A.  Avery,  Silas  Cornell, 
Russell  Green,  O.  N.  Bush,  David  Scoville,  vice-presidents;  Oren  Sage,  treas- 
urer; S.  D.  Porter,  corresponding  secretary;  E.  F.  Marshall,  recording  secre- 
tary. A  state  convention  was  held  here,  in  the  court-house,  a  week  later,  but 
it  came  to  nothing. 

In  1839  the  Liberty  party  was  formed,  the  corner-stone  of  the  organisation 


134  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

being  laid  in  this  city.  Myron  HoUey,  in  June,  started  the  Rochester  Freeman, 
in  which  he  urged  the  policy  of  independent  political  action  on  the  part  of 
those  opposed  to  slavery.  On  the  28th  of  September  the  Monroe  county  con- 
vention for  nominations  was  the  first  to  be  held  —  in  answer  to  the  recom- 
mendation of  the  national  anti-slavery  convention  in  the  previous  July,  refer- 
ring the  question  of  independent  political  nominations  to  the  judgment  of  the 
Abolitionists  in  the  different  localities  —  and  it  adopted  an  address  and  a  series 
of  resolutions,  prepared  by  Mr.  Holley,  who  added  to  the  great  reputation 
which  he  had  gained  for  his  services  in  connection  with  the  Erie  canal,  the 
honor  of  being,  more  than  any  other  one  person,  the  founder  of  the  Liberty  party. 
From  this  convention  sprang  that  of  the  state,  held  at  Arcade,  Wyoming  coun- 
ty, in  the  succeeding  January,  and  from  that  the  national  convention,  held  at 
Albany  in  the  following  April,  which  nominated  James  G.  Birney  for  the  pres- 
idency. In  this  year  the  new  Methodist  and  tlic  Fifth  Presbyterian  churches 
were  dedicated,  and'  the  new  Rochester  artillery  was  organised. 

For  1840  the  following  will  have  to  answer:  The  semi-centennial  celebra- 
tion held  Monday,  March  i6th,  commemorating  ,the  settlement  of  Western 
New  York,  excited  much  interest  throughout  the  city.  The  Brick  church  was 
crowded  to  excess,  hundreds  being  unable  to  obtain  seats.  A  procession  made 
up  of  the  different  military  organisations  of  the  city  marched  through  the  prin- 
cipal streets  to  the  Brick  church,  where  the  following  programme  was  ren- 
dered :  Prayer  by  Rev.  Tryon  Edwards,  an  ode  written  for  the  occasion  by 
D.  W.  Chapman  and  read  by  Graham  Chapin,  a  discourse  by  Myron  Holley, 
with  reference  to  the  settlement  and  history  of  Western  Ne\v  York,  followed 
by  an  ode  composed  for  the  celebration  by  W.  H.  C.  Hosmer  and  read  by  My- 
roti  Holley. 

An  imposing  ceremony  caused  the  year  1841  to  be  memorable  for  a  long 
time  after  it  had  passed  away.  In  August,  1779,  General  Sullivan  started  on 
his  campaign  to  chastise  the  Indians  in  Western  New  York,  who  had  committed 
wanton  devastation  and  murdered  peaceful  settlers  throughout  a  wide  circuit 
of  country.  In  the  eleventh  chapter  of  this  work  is  given  a  description  of  the 
surprise,  by  the  red  men  and  the  tories,  of  a  detachment  of  his  troops  under 
Lieutenant  Boyd,  with  the  execution,  in  Indian  fashion,  of  that  officer  and  a 
private  named  Parker,  at  a  distance  from  the  scene  of  the  general  massacre. 
Sullivan's  army  came  up  soon  afterward  and  the  bodies  of  the  victims  were 
buried  where  they  lay,  tho.se  of  Boyd  and  Parker  where  the  village  of  Cuyler- 
ville,  Livingston  county,  now  stands,  and  the  others  a  few  miles  off,  near  Grove- 
land.  Sixty-two  years  later  the  bones  were  exhumed,  those  of  Boyd  and 
Parker  were  placed  in  an  urn,  those  of  the  others  in  a  "sarcophagus,"  and  both 
receptacles  were  delivered  to  a  committee  from  this  city,  which  went  up  the 
Genesee  Valley  canal  in  a  flotilla  of  boats,  accompanied  by  the  Williams  light 
infantry,  the  Union  Grays,  the  City  Cadets,  the  German  Grenadiers  and  the 


Remains  of  Boyd  and  Parker  Removed.  135 

Rochester  artillery,  as  well  as  by  the  mayor  and  other  city  officials.  The  next 
day,  August  21st,  they  returned,  and  the  procession,  augmented  by  the  fire  de- 
partment of  the  city,  moved  at  once  to  Mount  Hope.  Just  as  the  line  entered 
the  grounds  it  was  joined  by  Governor  Seward  and  his  staff,  who  had  come 
from  Batavia  on  a  special  train,  by  the  fastest  time  ever  made  up  to  that  point, 
a  fact  that  was  chronicled  in  newspapers  throughout  the  country.  The  two 
receptacles  containing  the  precious  relics  were  united  in  one  structure  and 
placed  on  an  elevation  which  had  been  deeded  for  that  purpose,  and  a  short 
address  was  delivered  by  Rev.  Elisha  Tucker  of  this  city,  dedicating  the  spot 
under  the  name  of  Revolutionary  hill  —  though  the  title  subsequently  gave 
place  to  that  of  Patriot  hill.  Vice-Chancellor  Whittlesey  then  introduced  the 
governor,  who  made  an  address  befitting  the  occasion. 

On  the  7th  of  January,  1842,  Jesse  Hawley  died  at  Cambria,  Niagara  county, 
and  was  buried  at  Lockport,  which  had  been  his  permanent  residence  since 
1836;  he  was  the  original  projector  of  the  overland  route  of  the  Erie  canal 
and  was  one  of  the  most  prominent  citizens  of  Rochester  during  its  existence 
as  a  village,  holding  many  offices,  among  others  that  of  collector  of  the  port  of 
Genesee,  to  which  he  was  appointed  by  President  Monroe  in  1817  and  held  it 
until  Jackson's  election  in  1828.  The  fourth  of  July  was  grandly  celebrated, 
all  the  military,  civic,  literary  and  benevolent  societies  turning  out  and  going  to 
Washington  square,  where  Chancellor  Whittlesey  delivered  an  address  and 
temperance  pledges  were  circulated,  receiving  many  signatures.  During  the 
summer  the  Auburn  &  Rochester  railroad  had  a  prolonged,  quarrel  with  the 
National  Hotel,  a  temperance  house,  in  the  course  of  which  the  agent  of  the 
road  tore  down  the  sign  of  the  hotel ;  an  indignation  meeting  of  the  citizens 
was  held,  nearly  2,000  attending.  A  duel  was  fought  on  Pinnacle  hill,  between 
two  young  men  whose  names  are  not  given  in  the  newspapers  of  that  time ; 
no  one  was  hurt,  and  it  was  thought  that  the  seconds,  in  loading  the  pistols, 
forgot  to  put  in  the  balls.  The  new  aqueduct  was  finished  at  a  cost  of  $600,- 
000. 

Ireland's  wrongs  seem  to  have  agitated  the  minds  of  many  of  our  citizens 
during  the  summer  of  1843,  many  meetings  being  held  to  advocate  the  repeal 
of  the  union  with  England  and  the  restoration  of  Ireland's  nationality,  the 
largest  of  them  being  on  the  loth  of  July,  in  Monroe  hall,  when  addresses  were 
made  by  the  chairman,  General  Hestor  L.  Stevens,  George  Dawson,  Dr.  Thel- 
ler  and  others.  John  Quincy  Adams  visited  Rochester  on  the  27th  of  July; 
was  received  with  great  honor  by  a  committee,  three  of  whom  had  been  pre- 
viously appointed  to  go  to  Buffalo  to  meet  him;  grand  torchlight  procession  in 
the  evening  in  his  honor,  and  an  address  by  the  venerable  statesman  from  a 
platform  erected  in  the  court-house  square. 

Up  to  the  time  of  the  November  election  in  1844,  the  whole  state  was 
agitated  by  the  presidential  canvass,  and  Rochester  was  in  no  wise  behind  the 


1 36  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

other  cities  in  the  enthusiasm  displayed.  On  the  i-2th  of  April  the  friends  of 
Henry  Clay  celebrated  the  birthday  of  their  favorite  by  a  large  gathering  at 
Irving  hall,  at  which  Governor  Seward  was  expected  to  be  present,  but  he  sent, 
instead,  a  two-column  letter;  Elisha  B.  Strong  presided  and  an  oration  was  de- 
livered by  Dr.  D.  F.  Bacon,  of  New  York.  August  24th  Levi  W.  Sibley  died ; 
he  was  one  of  the  pioneers,  having  come  here  in  1818  with  his  brother  Derick; 
they  were  printers,  and  after  working  for  some  years  on  the  Telegraph  they 
purchased  the  Gazette  in  1821,  and  published  it  four  years.  The  census  taken 
in  March  showed  a  population  of  23,553,  an  increase  of  3,358  in  three  years. 
Three  hundred  and  ten  new  buildings  were  ePected  during  the  year,  about 
equally  divided  between  the  two  sides  of  the  river. 

Temperance,  the  canal  and  slavery  seem  to  have  troubled  the  minds  of  our 
people  a  good  deal  during  1845;  Washingtonian  gatherings  were  held  to  pro- 
mote total  abstinence,  and  a  grain  convention,  attended  by  delegates  from  all 
the  western  part  of  the  state,  took  place  here  January  29th  and  30th,  to  pro- 
test against  the  competition  of  the  Welland  canal  in  diverting  traffic  from  the 
direct  line  of  the  Erie;  James  Seymour  presided,  many  speecTies  were  made 
and  resolutions  were  c\dopted  calling  upon  the  legislature  to  equalise  the  tolls, 
so  as  to  make  western  forwarders  pay  the  same  whichever  way  the  produce 
went.  On  Febi-uary  Sth,  6th  and  7th  the  Western  New  York  Anti-slavery 
society  held  a  convention,  Isaac  Post  presiding.  The  mayoralty  election  in 
March  was  quite  exciting;  Rufus  Keeler,  the  Locofoco  candidate;^  and  John 
Allen,  the  Whig,  were  within  two  votes  of  each  other,  and  the  common  coun- 
cil, acting  as  a  board  of  -canvassers,  were  tied  on  the  question  of  allowing  three 
imperfect  votes  to  John  Allen,  which  would  have  elected  him;  Mr.  Allen, 
having,  as  mayor,  the  casting  vote  in  the  council,  magnanimously  decided 
against  himself,  and  Mr.  Keeler  was  declared  elected;  he  declined  to  accept 
the  office,  and  Mr.  Allen,  who  by  that  means  would  have  held  over,  sent  in  his 
resignation  and  the  common  council  appointed  William  Pitkin  mayor.  On  the 
19th  of  May  an  anti-gambling  meeting  of  prominent  citizens  was  held,  at 
which  J.  H.  Green,  "the  reformed  gambler,"  made  an  address;  two  days  later 
a  society  was  formed,  with  Frederick  Whittlesey  as  president,  Messrs.  Champ- 
ion, Kempshall,  Bumphrey,  Smith,  Bloss,  Wheeler  and  Barton  as  vice-presi- 
dents; I.  F.  Mack  as  corresponding  secretary,  and  J.  H.  Babcock  as  treasurer; 
under  the  auspices  of  the  society  Mr.  Green  delivered  a  lecture  at  the  court- 
house five  days  afterward.  On  the  1st  of  October  Edwin  Scrantom,  one  of 
the  best  known  auctioneers  of  the  day,  sold  off  a  large  quantity  of  central  real 
estate,  in  several  small  parcels,  to  the  highest  bidders;  twelve  lots  on  the  east 
side  of  Front  street  brought  $4,815;  thirteen  on  the  west  side,  $6,660;  three 
on  Mumford  street  sold  for  $1,275;  "'"e  on  Mill  street  realised  $1,740;  five 
on  a  back  street  then  running  between  Front  and  the  river  bank  went  for 
$1,490;   the  Selye  house  and  lot,  on  the  corner  of  Mill  and  Fish  (now  Center) 


Franklin's  Birthday. — Famine  in  Ireland.  137 

streets  reached  $3,600,  and  other  property  was  knocked  down  for  $8,645  — '" 
all  $28,225,  to  eleven  purchasers.  On  the  22d  of  October  a  state  temperance 
convention  was  held  here,  presided  over  by  Chancellor  Whittlesey.  The  widow 
of  Colonel  Nathaniel  Rochester  died  on  the  9th  of  December,  leaving  fifty- 
eight  direct  descendants. 

Benjamin  Franklin's  birthday  was  celebrated  on  the  i6th  of  January,  1846, 
in  grand  style  by  the  printers  of  Western  New  York ;  it  was  the  first  festival 
of  the  craft  of  this  city  and  was  held  at  the  Champion  Hotel,  which  was  the 
old  Morton  House  refitted,  rechristened  and  opened  as  a  temperance  house, 
on  the  corner  of  Buffalo  and  Fitzhugh  streets.  Derick  Sibley  presided  at  the 
principal  table,  and  a  newspaper  of  the  next  day,  in  an  account  of  the  pro-' 
ceedings,  which  takes  up  more  than  eight  columns,  says  that  "one  hundred  and 
seven,  including  Adams's  brass  band,  sat  down  to  one  of  the  most  sumptuous 
repasts  ever  furnished  to  printers'  palates;"  all  those  living  here  who  were  then 
or  ever  had  been  connected  with  the  press  as  editors  or  publishers  were  pres- 
ent ;  many  of  them  made  speeches,  and  letters  were  read  from  several  journal- 
ists in  other  parts  of  the  state.  On  the  8th  of  February  Rev.  Ashbel  Baldwin, 
then  the  oldest  ordained  Episcopal  minister  in  the  United  States,  died  at  his 
residence  in  this  city,  aged  nearly  eighty-nine.  The  first  exhibition  of  the 
Genesee  Valley  Horticultural  society  was  held  June  I2th,  at  the  Blossom  House. 
The  Mexican  war  having  broken  out  in  the  spring  of  that  year,  a  meeting  of 
citizens  was  held  on  the  27th  of  May,  General  Gould  presiding,  to  sustain  Pres- 
ident Polk's  administration  ;  a  "committee  of  safety"  was  appointed,  which  in 
turn  appointed  John  Allen,  Horace  Gay  and  H.  B.  Ely  a  committee  to  take 
measures  for  the  enrollment  of  volunteers ;  the  response  was  more  tardy  than 
had  been  anticipated,  and  by  the  time  a  company  of  thirty-three  was  raised, 
under  Captain  H.  B.  Ely,  word  came  that  the  quota  of  the  state  was  full  and 
no  more  troops  were  needed,,  so  the  enlistments  were  revoked  and  the  men 
stayed  at  home. 

The  next  year,  1847,  saw  greater  activity  and  excitement  in  the  matter, 
General  Taylor's  brilliant  achievements  having  stirred  the  warlike  feelings  of 
the  young  men  of  the  North,  so  that  when  more  troops  were  called  for  there 
was  less  difficulty  .in  getting  enlistments  in  this  city.  In  the  early  part  of  the 
year  Caleb  Wilder,  as  captain,  organised  a  company,  forty  members  of  which, . 
under  charge  of  Lieutenant  Edward  McGarry,  left  here  in  April  for  Fort  Ham- 
ilton, where  they  remained  until  joined  by  the  complement  of  the  company, 
when,  on  the  9th  of  June,  they  proceded  to  the  mouth  of  the  Rio  Grande, 
where  they  remained  about  sixteen  months,  doing  active  and  efficient  service  as, 
a  part  of  the  army  of  occupation.     This  was  the  great  year  of  famine  in  Ireland 

as  it  was  foreseen  it  would  be,  in  consequence  of  the  failure  of  the  potato 

crop  the  year  before  —  and  of  course  meetings  were  held  here,  to  send  relief 
to  the  starving  people,  the  largest,  perhaps,  being  at  the  court-house  on  Feb- 


History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 


ruary  8th  ;  Dr.  James  Webster  presided ;  $363  was  raised  at  once ;  Dr.  Lee, 
General  Gould  and  Rev.  Mr.  Holland  were  appointed  a  committee  to  send  cir- 
culars to  the  neighboring  towns.  In  this  year  an  amendment  to  the  charter 
was  adopted  by  the  common  council,  and  subsequently  passed  by  the  legisla- 
ture, whereby  all  city  officers  were  to  be  after  that  year  elected  by  the  people, 
except  the  clerk  of  the  board,  the  superintendent  of  Mount  Hope  cemetery  and 
the  messenger  of  the  council.  On  the  30th  of  September  the  Society  of  the 
Pioneers  was  organised,  at  a  dinner  held  at  the  Blossom  House,  with  Enos 
Stone  as  president,  Judge  Sampson,  Ralph  Parker  and  Oliver  Culver,  as  vice- 
presidents  ;  sixty-two  were  present  at  this  first  festival,  or  sent  letters  joining 
the  organisation,  which  at  the  outset  was  to  comprise  only  those  who  were  here 
before  1816;  of  that  original  number,  not  one  is  now  living,  the  last  to  pass 
away  being  Charles  J.  Hill,  who  died  last  year ;  the  limit  of  time  was  then  ex- 
tended so  as  to  admit  all  who  resided  in  Western  New  York  prior  to  1820;  the 
number  of  members  then  rapidly  increased,  so  that  in  i860  there  were  ninety 
men  and  forty  women  connected  with  the  society.  In  July  a  new  railroad 
bridge  was  built  across  the  river  by  the  Auburn  &  Rochester  railroad,  to  take 
the  place  of  the  old  one  laid  down  seven  years  before.  In  this  year  coal  was 
first  burned  as  fuel,  as  will  be  more  fully  told  in  another  chapter.  The  mor- 
tality for  this  year  was  747,  a  death  rate  of  more  than  two  and  a  half  per  cent. 
In  February,  1848,  much  excitement  was  caused  by  the  disappearance  of 
Porter  P.  Pierce,  a  young  woolen  manufacturer;  a  meeting  was  held  at  which 
sixty-eight  prominent  citizens,  with  Dr.  Webster  at  the  head,  were  appointed  a 
vigilance  committee  to  unravel  the  mystery ;  other  meetings  were  held,  and 
rewards  offered ;  the  body  was  afterward  found  in  the  river  with  marks  of  vio- 
lence; the  murderer  was  never  discovered.  On  the  2d  of  August  there  was  a 
woman's  rights  convention  at  the  Unitarian  church,  the  building  being  filled  to 
overflowing;  Amy  Post  called  the  meeting  to  order;  Abigail  Bush  was  presi- 
dent, with  other  women  to  fill  the  remaining  offices ;  proceedings  were  opened 
with  prayer  by  Rev.  Mr.  Wicher,  of  the  Free  Will  Baptist  church  ;  Miss  Burtis, 
a  Quaker  school-teacher,  acted  as  reader,  as  the  secretaries  could  not  be  heard. 
Frederick  Douglass,  William  C.  Nell  and  William  C.  Bloss  spoke  in  favor  of 
the  emancipation  of  women  from  *all  artificial  disabilities ;  Milo  Codding  and 
three  other  men  spoke  against  this,  contending  that  "woman's  sphere  was 
home,"  to  which  Lucretia  Mott  replied  vigorously,  followed  by  Mrs.  Stanton 
and  others ;  letters  were  read  from  Gerrit  Smith  and  William  Lloyd  Garrison, 
cordially  approving  all  the  objects  of  the  meeting;  there  were  three  sessions, 
each  well  attended.  On  August  23d  a  citizens'  meeting  was  held  for  the  relief 
of  Albany,  nearly  a  quarter  of  that  city  being  burned,  with  a  loss  of  more  than 
a  million  of  dollars;  a  draft  for  $1,000  was  remitted  by  the  mayor,  Joseph 
Field.  The  gas  works  having  been  completed  in  this  year,  the  illuminating 
fluid  was  supplied  on  the  13th  of  December,  the  first  consumer  being  C.  A. 
Jones,  who  resided  on  Franklin  street. 


Incidents  of  1850.  139 


Cholera  visited  the  place  again  in  1849,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  utmost 
precautions  had  been  talten  in  the  early  part  of  the  year  to  cleanse  the  filthiest 
places,  and  put  the  city  in  a  sanitary  condition  ;  about  one  hundred  and  sixty 
deaths  resulted  from  the  disease.  In  May  the  trial  of  Dr.  Hardenbrook,  for 
the  murder  of  Thomas  Nott,  took  place,  the  motive  alleged  being  the  desire  to 
marry  Mrs.  Nott;  strong  testimony  was  offered  to  show  that  death  occurred 
from  poison  administered  by  the  doctor,  who  had  professionally  treated  the 
deceased  ;  the  jury,  after  being  out  five  hours,  rendered  a  verdict  of  acquittal. 
Fanny  Kemble  read  here.  May  9th  and  lOth,  "Othello"  and  the  "Tempest." 
Corinthian  hall  was  opened  during  the  summer,  having  been  begun  in  the 
spring  of  the  previous  year ;  Bugle  alley  was  changed  in  name  to  Exchange 
place,  and  the  title  of  Mill  street  was  given  to  the  whole  line  of  that  thorough- 
fare, whose  southern  end  had  hitherto  been  known  as  Work  street.  As  navi- 
gation was  nearing  its  close,  the  City  mills,  which  were  overloaded,  fell  with  a 
crash,  in  consequence  of  the  great  strain  upon  the  floors ;  eleven  thousand 
bushels  of  wheat  were  precipitated  into  the  raceway  and  the  flumes,  which  be- 
came dammed  up  and  the  water  burst  through,  carrying  the  grain  into  the 
river;  an  almost  total  loss. 

f  On  the  13th  of  March,  1850,  General  Ebenezer  S.  Beach  died;  he  came 
here  in  1820,  and  almost  from  the  first  was  engaged  in  the  milling  business,  in 
which  he  was,  so  far  as  known,  more  extensively  interested  than  any  other 
person  in  the  United  States.  John  T.  Talman,  another  of  the  early  settlers, 
died  February  I2th.  Hamlet  Scrantom,  who  was  the  first  white  resident  of 
Rochester,  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  died  in  this  year,  in  the  house  on 
State  street  (subsequently  occupied  by  Martin  Briggs,  his  son-in-law)  where 
the  family  had  resided  since  18 16.  The  corner-stone  of  the  court-house  was 
laid  on  the  20th  of  June,  with  imposing  ceremonies,  all  the  military  and  the 
city  officials  turning  out  and  moving  through  the  principal  streets ;  the  prayer 
was  by  Rev.  Dr.  Hall,  the  address  by  Judge  Cliapin,  and  the  stone  was  laid  by 
Mayor  Richardson  and  the  chairman  of  the  board  of  supervisors;  in  the  box 
under  it  were  placed  copies  of  all  the  newspapers  of  the  day,  city  directories, 
daguerreotypes  of  officials,  statistics  of  various  kinds,  and  many  other  objects 
of  interest.  A  mournful  occasion  caused  the  passage  of  a  similar  procession, 
augmented  by  the  fire  department  and  the  secret  societies,  on  the  13th  of 
July,  in  token  of  the  national  loss  sustained  by  the  death  of  the  president, 
General  Taylor,  on  the  9th ;  at  Washington  square  a  eulogy  was  delivered  by 
Rev.  Mr.  Hickok,  of  the  Bethel  church  ;  most  of  the  buildings  in  the  city  were 
draped,  and  the  railroad  trains  that  passed  through  were  covered  with  the  em- 
blems of  mourning ;  General  L.  B.  Swan  was  marshal  of  the  day  on  both  of 
these  observances.  In  September  Powers's  "Greek  Slave"  was  exhibited  here 
for  several  days.  Lectures  were  given  during  the  early  part  of  the  year  by 
Horace  Greeley,  President  Hopkins,  of  Williams  college ;   Richard  H.  Dana, 

10 


I40  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

John  B.  Gough,  Senator  John  P.  Hale,  Bishop  Hopkins,  of  Vermont,  and  Rev. 
Dr.  Lord,  of  Buffalo.  The  University  of  Rochester  and  the  theological  sem- 
inary were  established  here  in  autumn.  The  census  taken  during  the  summer 
showed  a  population  of  36,561,  an  increase  of  11,296  in  five  years.  This  fin- 
ishes the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century,  though  not  the  first  half  century 
of  the  existence  of  Rochester,  which  had,  however,  even  at  this  time,  taken 
her  place  as  one  of  the  most  prosperous,  and  in  some  respects  one  of  the  most 
important,  cities  in  the  state. 


CHAPTER  XX. 

THE  CITY'S  PROGRESS  TO  THE  WAR  TIME. 

Visit  of  Fillmore  and  his  Cabinet,  and  of  Daniel  Webster  —  Singing  of  Jenny  I.ind  —  Civic  Fes- 
tival in  1 85 1  —  Building  the  New  Court-IIouse  —  The  Meridian  of  Rochester  —  The  Mock  Funeral 
of  Henry  Clay  —  The  Cholera  in  1852  —  The  Ira  Stout  Murder  —  The  "  Irrepressible  Conflict  "  — 
De  Lave's  Rope- Walking  —  Death  of  Ex-Mayors  Allen  and  Child. 

PRESIDENT  FILLMORE  conceived  the  idea  that  some  of  the  unpopu- 
larity which  he  had  incurred  at  the  North,  and  especially  in  his  own  state, 
by  signing  the  fugitive  slave  bill,  would  be  removed  by  making  a  tour  with  his 
cabinet  and  explaining  matters  as  he  went  along,  so  he  set  out  with  three  of 
the  secretaries  and  was  generally  well  received;  he  reached  here  on  the  20th 
of  Mayj  1851,  and  was  greeted  by  a  fine  turnout  of  the  military  and  other 
organisations;  much  disappointment  was  felt  over  the  absence  of  Daniel  Web- 
ster, then  secretary  of  state,  who  had  lagged  behind  the  party  for  some  time, 
not  getting  to  Buffalo  till  two  days  after  the  others  had  left;  salutes  were  fired 
and  the  visitors  were  escorted  to  Washington  square,  where  the  mayor  made 
a  long  address  to  the  president,  who  responded,  followed  by  Attorney- General 
Crittenden  and  ex-Gov.  Graham,  secretary  of  the  navy;  in  the  afternoon  the 
party  dined  at  the  Eagle  Hotel,  where  more  speeches  were  made.  Mr.  Web 
ster  reached  here  three  days  later,  but  was  not  honored  by  an  official  recep- 
tion, which  he  had  probably  expected  and  which  he  would  certainly  have 
received  a  few  years  before ;  the  next  morning  he  spoke,  from  the  south  end 
of  the  Arcade  gallery,  to  a  large  crowd,  but  the  circumstances  under  which 
his  speech  was  delivered  were  not  such  as  to  enhance  his  great  reputation. 
Jenny  Lind  sang  here  July  22d  and  24th  ;  the  desire  to  hear  her  was  so  great 
that  every  nook  and  corner  in  the  adjacent  streets  was  occupied,  and  as  the 
heat  of  the  evenings  caused  the  windows  of  Corinthian  hall  to  be  kept  wide 
open  it  was  estimated  that  the  notes  of  her  voice  reached  as  many  outside  of 


The  New  Court-House.  141 

the  building  as  listened  to  it  within.  For  her  second  night  the  tickets,  to  keep 
them  out  of  the  hands  of  speculators,  were  sold  at  auction,  and  they  all 
brought  a  premium,  which  aggregated  $2,501.41;  this  amount  she  sent  the 
next  day  to  the  mayor,  N.  E.  Paine,  to  be  distributed  as  follows :  To  the  Fe- 
male Charitable  society  $800,  to  the  Rochester  orphan  asylum  $500,  Catholic 
orphan  asylums  $300,  Home  for  the  Friendless  $300,  German  Lutheran 
church  $200,  Cartmen's  Benevolent  association  $200,  Firemen's  Benevolent 
association  $201.41.  The  annual  fair  of  the  State  Agricultural  society  was 
held  here  in  September,  with  greater  eclat  than  in  any  year  since  then ;  the 
address  was  delivered  by  Stephen  A.  Douglas ;  and  the  crowd  in  attendance 
was  by  far  the  largest  ever  seen  up  to  that  time  in  Western  New  York;  one 
evening  during  the  progress  of  the  fair  a  civic  festival  was  held  in  Corinthian 
hall,  which  was  attended  by  Gov.  Hunt  and  his  military  staff,  ex-President 
Tyler,  ex- Gov.  Marcy,  ex  Gov.  Morton  of  Massachusetts,  Gen.  Wool,  John 
A.  King,  Horace  Greeley,  many  judges  of  the  Supreme  court  and  other  nota- 
bilities. Chancellor  Whittlesey,  one  of  the  most  distinguished  citizens  of 
Rochester,  died  September  19th;  resolutions  of  respect  were  passed  by  the 
university,  the  courts  and  many  other  bodies.  Enos  Stone,  generally  con- 
sidered the  first  settler  upon  the  east  side  of  the  river,  where  the  city  now 
stands  (as  is  fully  described  in  the  first  portion  of  this  work),  died  on  the  23d 
of  October.  Matthew  Brown,  who  came  here  in  1817,  died  December  28th. 
The  new  court-house  was  finished  in  December  at  a  cost  of  $61,93 1. 95  (though 
additions  a  few  years  later  increased  the  amount  by  something  over  $10,000), 
of  which  the  city  paid  $33,465.98  and  the  county  $28,465.97  ;  Gideon  Cobb, 
who  took  the  old  court-house  at  $500,  did  the  mason  work,  and  Henry  T. 
Rogers  was  the  carpenter;  the  original  appropriation  was  for  $25,000,  by  the 
supervisors,  for  a  county  building  alone,  but  the  common  council  afterward 
joined  with  them  to  erect  a  court-house,  with  rooms  for  both  city  and  county 
officers;  the  plans  for  this  included  wooden  columns  to  support  the  roof  of 
the  portico,  and  it  was  mainly  by  the  exertions  of  Gen.  Swan  that  the  massive 
stone  pillars  which  do  more  than  any  other  part  of  the  structure  to  give  dig- 
nity to  its  appearance  were  raised,  instead  of  the  miserable  posts  which  would 
have  become  mutilated  long  ago  by  time  and  mischief  It  will  be  of  interest 
to  our  readers  to  know  —  what  has  perhaps  never  been  printed  before  —  the 
exact  meridian  of  the  city  of  Rochester,  which  may  be  given  in  this  connec- 
tion because  the  figure  of  Justice,  which  surmounts  the  upper  dome,  was  taken 
as  one  of  the  points  of  triangulation  by  the  officers  of  the  coast  survey  in 
1876;   the  image  is  in  latitude  43°  9'  22.44",  longitude  TJ^  36'  50.97". 

On  the  6th  of  February,  1852,  a  Portuguese  family,  named  Antonio,  left  on 
the  cars  for  Albany  —  an  innocent  proceeding,  in  itself,  but  it  gave  to  those  who 
had  been  their  neighbors  on  Lyell  street  an  opportunity  to  dig  in  the  cellar  of 
the  late  residence  of  the  family  and  to  find  buried  there  the  body  of  Ignacio 


142  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Pinto,  who  had  lived  with  the  others  and  had  been  missed  since,  the  previous 
November;  one  deadly  wound  was  in  the  breast,  another  on  the  head  ;  an  offi- 
cer was  sent  after  the  family  and  brought  them  back  ;  Maurice  Antonio  was 
tried  for  the  murder  in  April  —  an  interpreter  b^ing  used  as  medium  all  through 
the  trial  —  and  was  hanged  on  the  3d  of  June.  Sally  Holley,  the  daughter  of 
Myron  Holley,  delivered  an  address  on  anti-slavery  on  the  i6th  of  February. 
Ralph  Waldo  Emerson,  Leonard  Bacon,  Horace  Mann,  T.  D'Arcy  McGee, 
Horatio  Seymour  and  Donald  G.  Mitchell  were  among  the  lecturers  of  the 
winter.  Horace  Gay,  formerly  district  attorney,  master  in  chancery,  member 
of  Assembly,  etc.,  died  June  9th,  at  Baltimore,  having  been  taken  sick  while  on 
the  way  to  attend,  as  a  delegate,  the  Democratic  national  convention  in  that 
city.  Henry  Clay  having  died  on  the  gth  of  June,  one  week  after  General 
Scott  obtained  the  Whig  nomination  as  candidate  for  the  presidency,  this  city, 
in  common  with  all  others  in  the  country,  was  deeply  moved  by  the  general 
feeling  of  sorrow ;  resolutions  of  regret  were  passed  by  the  council  and  all  the 
literary  organisations;  an  immense  throng  gathered  at  the  depot. as  the  remains 
passed  through  here  on  the  6th  of  July,  on  the  way  to  Kentucky  ;  formal  obse- 
quies were  held  here  July  13th,  with  a  eulogy  at  the  First  Methodist  church  by 
Rev.  Mr.  Hickok,  of  the  Bethel ;  this  was  not  all,  for  on  the  23d  of  the  same 
month  there  was  a  mock  funeral  procession — "under  the  dir,ection  of  the  young 
men  of  Rochester,"  as  the  newspapers  had  it  —  with  more  imposing  pageantry 
than  had  ever  been  seen  here  before,  surpassing  that  displayed  after  the  death 
of  Taylor,  of  John  Quincy  Adams  or  of  Harrison;  all  conceivable  associations 
and  companies  turned  out,  to  precede  or  follow  the  funeral  car  to  Washington 
square,  where  an  oration  was  delivered  by  Charles  G.  Lee ;  the  court-house 
was  hung  in  black  from  basement  to  cupola,  draped  flags  were  hung  across 
the  streets  at  intervals,  and  all  the  bells  tolled  as  the  procession  moved. 

But,  before  the  summer  was  over,  the  streets  were  filled  with  mourners  on 
account  of  the  actual  presence  of  the  destroyer,  and  the  mimic  demonstrations  of 
woe  gave  place  to  the  manifestations  of  a  far  more  personal  grief,  perplexity  and 
dread.  The  cholera  returned,  and  its  ravages  here,  as  in  Buffalo  and  elsewhere, 
were  more  frightful  than  in  any  previous  year.  Its  coming  had  been  foreseen,  as 
formerly ;  the  board  of  health  began  its  work  of  purification  early  in  the  spring, 
though  the  unusual  fall  of  rain  through  April  and  May  retarded  their  work,  and 
on  the  first  appearance  of  the  disease  a  building  on  High  street  (now  Caledonia 
avenue)  was  turned  into  a  hospital  and  given  in  charge  of  Dr.  Richard  Gundry ; 
into  this  sixty-eight  patients  were  taken,  of  whom  twenty-four  died.  There 
were,  during  the  summer,  nearly  seven  hundred  cases,  the  deaths  numbering  at 
least  420,  and  possibly  473  (the  discrepancy  being  due,  in  part,  to  confusion  in 
undertakers'  reports),  so  that  a  little  over  one  per  cent,  of  the  population  was 
carried  off  by  the  scourge.  The  first  case  was  that  of  John  Hart,  an  Irish 
laborer  on  Factory  street,  which  occurred  June  6th  ;  the  last,  which  took  place 


Occurrences  of  1853  and  1854.  143 

early  in  November,  was  that  of  a  prisoner  in  the  jail,  eighty-three  years  old, 
who,  when  another  inmate  died  of  the  cholera,  became  panic-stricken,  was 
seized  with  the  disease  and  soon  fell  a  victim.  Moses  B.  Seward,  Dr.  J.  J.  Treat 
and  Dr.  William  Bell  died  of  the  epidemic  in  August,  Dr.  D.  C.  Phelps  in  Sep- 
tember. The  mayor,  Hamlin  Stilwell,  exerted  himself  effectively  at  first,  but 
his  health  soon  gave  way  and  he  was  obliged  to  retire  temporarily  from  active 
labor,  when  his  duties  fell  upon  Alderman  William  F.  Holmes,  who  fortunately 
was  a  member  of  the  board  of  health  at  the  time,  and  to  whose  memory  praise 
is  due  for  the  fidelity,  courage  and  devotion  which  he  showed  in  doing  what 
could  be  done  to  prevent  the  establishment  of  the  epidemic  and  in  relieving  the 
miseries  of  those  who  suffered  from  it.  A  committee  of  the  board,  consisting 
of  Dr.  E.  W.  Armstrong,  D.  M.  Dewey  and  Hiram  Banker,  drew  up  a  long  and 
complete  report  of  the  cholera  for  this  year,  from  which  is  taken  the  informa- 
tion given  above.  Clay's  great  rival,  Daniel  Webster,  having  died  October 
25th,  the  city  hall  bell  was  tolled  here  during  his  funeral  at  Marshfield  on  the 
29th  ;  memorial  services  were  held  in  Corinthian  hall  November  23d,  an  ora- 
tion being  delivered  by  Jerome  Fuller  of  Brockport. 

As  the  city  was  full  of  the  newly  developed  theories  of  Spiritualism,  with 
their  attendant  manifestations.  Dr.  Mcllvaine,  of  the  First  church,  preached  a 
sermon  on  "the  arts  of  divination,"  on  the  20th  of  March,  1853.  In  the 
same  month  Francis  Gretter,  a  candy  peddler,  stabbed  and  killed  instantly 
Paul  Satterbee,  of  the  same  age  with  himself  (about  thirteen  years) ;  man- 
slaughter third  degree ;  House  of  Refuge  till  becoming  of  age.  In  May  the 
seamstresses  (or  "sempstresses"  as  they  were  then  called)  formed  a  protective 
union  for  mutual  support  and  to  aid  in  securing  fair  compensation ;  several 
meetings  were  held  by  them  in  Corinthian  hall.  Silas  Ball,  one  of  the  old 
pioneers,  died  May  8th.  In  May  the  association  for  juvenile  reform  was  or- 
ganised, with  William  Pitkin  as  president,  Hervey  Ely  vice-president,  J.  B. 
Robertson  treasurer  and  S.  D.  Porter  secretary ;  its  object  was,  especially,  the 
care  of  truant  children.  Highway  robberies  during  this  month  were  common 
enough  to  alarm  the  people  of  Rochester  and  make  most  of  them  go  home 
early  at  night.  On  June  19th  died  John  Smith,  vague  as  to  name,  but  with  his 
individuality  established  by  his  having  come  here  in  1814  and  kept  the  first 
meat  stall  in  the  place,  at  the  west  end  of  the  bridge,  his  shop  being  called  — 
presumably  in  derision  —  "the  fly  market."  A  long-staying  comet  affrighted 
many  timid  people  during  August.  The  corner-stone  of  Plymouth  church  was 
laid  on  the  8th  of  September,  Rev.  Dr.  O.  E.  Daggett  delivering  the  principal 
address;  that  of  St.  Mary's  (Catholic)  was  laid  on  the  i8th,  the  services  being 
conducted  by  Bishop  Timon  of  Buffalo.  Harry  Pratt,  one  of  the  most  re- 
spected of  our  private  citizens,  died  at  the  end  of  the  year. 

Lyceum  oratory  found  good  development  during  the  early  part  of  1854, 
Henry  Giles,  Wendell  Phillips,  Agassiz,  Bayard  Taylor,  Oliver  Wendell  Homes, 


144  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Theodore  Parker  and  Horace  Greeley  being  among  the  lecturers  of  the  season. 
The  veterans  of  the  war  of  1812  held  a  mass  meeting  in  the  common  council 
chamber  on  the  3d  of  January  and  appointed  Ebenezer  Griffin,  Jonathan  Child 
and  S.  L.  Wellman  to  petition  Congress'  for  appropriate  relief  Everard  Peck, 
who  came  here  in  18 16,  died  on  the  9th  of  February.  In  March  forty-five 
clergymen  of  this  city,  headed  by  Dr.  Dewej'  and  Dr.  Anderson,  signed  a  pe- 
tition to  Congress,  remonstrating  against  the  attempt  to  organise  Kansas  and 
Nebraska  as  slave  territories  ;  similar  remonstrances  were  signed  by  great  num- 
bers of  the  citizens,  and  all  the  petitions  were  presented  to  Congress  by  our 
member,  Dr.  Davis  Carpenter,  of  Brockport.  On  the  3d  of  May  the  ground 
of  St.  Mary's  church,  on  St.  Paul  street,  was  sold  at  auction  for  $4,600,  the  old 
church  for  $160.  This  was  a  bad  year  for  the  millers — first,  by  reason  of  the 
short  crop  of  grain,  and  consequent  high  prices,  and, .  second,  on  account  of 
the  lack  of  water,  the  drought  being  so  great  that  the  Phoenix  and  the  Red  mill 
were  idle  during  the  whole  season,  and  the  others  ran  to  about  half  of  their  ca- 
pacity;  the  shipments  of  flour  were  less  than  in  any  previous  year  since  1844. 
On  thq  14th  of  November  Emma  Moore,  aged  thirty-seven,  disappeared  ;  anx- 
iety was  soon  felt  by  her  friends,  and  then  by  the  public ;  meetings  were  held 
by  the  citizens  and  a  reward  of  $1,000  was  offered  by  the  sheriff;  the  body 
was  found  in  the  upper  race  on  the  19th  of  the  following  March  ;  coroner's  jury 
rendered  a  verdict  of  "death  by  drowning,  whether  by  her  own  voluntary  act 
or  otherwise  is  entirely  unknown  to  the  jury." 

Woman's  rights  asserted  themselves  in  1855,  a  county  convention  of  those 
in  favor  of  them  being  held  at  Corinthian  hall  on  the  15th  of  January,  with 
Mrs.  Lucy  Clapp,  of  Perinton,  presiding;  Miss  Anthony  read  a  long  address 
in  the  afternoon,  and  Mrs.  Rose,  of  New  York,  spoke  one  in  the  evening. 
Science  predominated  in  the  Athenaeum  course  during  the  month,  six  lectures 
on  chemistry  being  delivered  by  Prof  Silliman,  of  Yale  college.  On  the  26th 
the  Union  Grays,  under  command  of  Captain  Lee,  were  called  out  by  the 
sheriff  to  quell  a  riot  of  laborers  on  the  canal,  engaged  in  a  strike ;  several 
arrests,  but  no  one  seriously  hurt.  The  night  between  the  6th  and  the  7th  of 
February  was  considered  the  coldest  ever  known  in  this  locality  since  civilisa- 
tion existed  here;  the  mercury  fell  to  twenty-six  below  at  four  in  the  morn- 
ing. One  hundred  and  twenty-five  guns  were  fired  and  bonfires  lighted  on 
the  evening  of  the  6th,  on  account  of  the  reelection  of  William  H.  Seward  to 
the  United  States  senate.  On  the  nth  of  May  Martin  Eastwood  was  con- 
victed of  the  murder  of  Edward  Brereton  and  sentenced  to  death,  but  he 
secured  a  new  trial,  and  got  off  with  a  long  imprisonment.  The  short-lived 
political  party,  calling  itself  the  "American,"  but  more  commonly  known  as 
the  "Know- Nothing,"  attained  its  greatest  strength  in  this  year,  at  least,  in 
Rochester,  where  it  placed  Charles  J.  Hayden  in  the  mayor's  chair  at  the 
spring  election.     The  pro-slavery  outrages  in  Kansas  and  Missouri  excited  the 


Diary  OF  Events  OF  1 8s6  AND  1 857-  HS 

utmost  indignation  in  Rochester,  and  a  large  meeting  in  expression  thereof  was 
held  at  the  city  hall  on  the  ist  of  June,  with  Prof  J.  H.  Raymond  and  others 
as  speakers.  On  the  15th  of  July  the  Junior  Pioneer  association  was  organ- 
ised, its  condition  of  admission  being  that  the  applicant  should  have  resided 
here  before  1825,  the  limit  being  subsequently  extended  to  1830.  The  first 
president  was  Ezra  M.  Parsons,  of  Gates ;  the  treasurer,  George  W.  Fisher ; 
the  corresponding  secretary,  L.  Ward  Smith  ;  Jarvis  M.  Hatch  was  first  on  the 
executive  committee,  and  William  A.  Reynolds  at  the  head  of  that  on  histor- 
ical collections.  The  first  object  given  to  the  society  was  a  cane,  with  the  fol- 
lowing inscription:  "A  fragment  of  the  boat  Young  Lion  of  the  West,  pre- 
sented to  the  Junior  Pioneer  association  by  H.  H.  Knapp,  October,  1855."^ 
About  1863  this  organisation  was  merged  in  the  older  pioneer  society,  and 
the  consolidated  body  continued  for  a  few  years,  when  it  quietly  passed  away, 
George  G.  Cooper  being  its  last  president.  Many  of  the  very  early  settlers 
died  during  this  year,  among  them  Mrs.  Levi  Ward,  Mrs.  Joseph  Sibley,  Mrs. 
Samuel  J.  Andrews,  Eli  Stillson  and  Elbert  W.  Scrantom.  A  number  of 
lectures  by  celebrated  speakers  were  delivered  before  the  Ladies'  Anti-Slavery 
society  in  the  course  of  the  winter. 

During  the  early  part  of  1856  snow  fell  in  immense  quantifies,  impeding 
the  passage  of  trains  in  January  and  February,  and  on  the  nth  of  March  the 
blockade  was  so  complete  as  to  cause  a  great  accumulation  of  passengers  at 
the  hotels  in  the  city,  besides  those  who  were  confined  in  the  cars  by  being 
snowed  in.  Elihu  Burritt,  the  "learned  blacksmith,"  lectured  before  the  Typo- 
graphical Union  on  the  i6th  of  January.  Rev.  Dr.  Finney,  the  revivalist, 
preached  here  during  the  month ;  there  was  much  religious  excitement,  great 
numbers  attended  the  meetings,  and  many  joined  the  church.  On  May  21st 
high  mass  was  celebrated  in  St.  Patrick's  church  (the  interior  being  hung  with 
black)  for  the  repose  of  the  soul  of  Bishop  Bernard  O'Reilly,  formerly  the  be- 
loved pastor  of  that  parish,  who  was  on  the  \\!i-idXz6i  Pacific  when  she  sank  in 
mid-ocean.  An  indignation  meeting,  on  the  30th  of  May,  over  Brooks's  cow- 
ardly assault  on  Senator  Sumner,  filled  the  city  hall  more  densely  than  in  any 
former  instance ;  the  mayor,  Samuel  G.  Andrews,  presided,  and  all  living  ex- 
mayors  were  vice-presidents  ;  Dr.  Anderson  delivered  the  longest  speech  of 
the  occasion.  July  30th  the  first  carriage  crossed  the  suspension  bridge  at 
Carthage.  Rev.  John  Donnelly  was  killed  by  the  cars  on  the  Central  railroad 
bridge,  August  9th.  Great  interest  was  aroused  by  the  Fremont  campaign  ; 
Gov.  Seward  spoke  in  Corinthian  hall  on  the  third  day  before  election.  Chas.- 
M.  Lee,  one  of  the  best-known  lawyers  of  the  city,  died  on  the  2Sth  of  No- 
vember. 

There  was,  in    1857,  almost  a  repetition  of  the  snowfall  of  the  previous 


1 A  similar  cane,  made  from  another  piece  of  the  same  old  vessel,  our  first  canal  boat,  is  iiow  in  the 
possession  of  Henry  L.  Fish,  having  been  presented  to  him  by  George  G.  Cooper  in  1882. 


146  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

year;  a  train  which  left  here  on  the  19th  of  January  was  twenty-seven  hours 
in  working  through  to  Albany.  There  was  enou-gh  of  a  flood  in  February,  on 
the  8th,  to  carry  away  most  of  the  old  buildings  on  the  north  side  of  Main 
street  bridge  by  undermining  the  old  piers,  and  finally  to  sweep  away  the 
greater  part  of  the  ancient  bridge  itself  The  new  one  was  about  half  built  at 
the  time.  The  Garrisonian  Abolitionists  had  a  convention  at  Corinthian  hall 
on  the  loth  of  February;  Messrs.  Garrison, •  May,  Remond  and  others  in 
attendance,  with  Miss  Anthony,  Mrs.  Post,  Miss  Burtis  and  others  of  this  city. 
Ephraim  Moore  died  on  the  12th  of  April ;  he  came  here  in  18 17,  was  one  of 
the  trustees  of  the  village,  and  held  various  positions  of  trust  and  responsibility. 
The  passage  by  the  legislature  of  the  bill  for  extending  the  Genesee  Valley 
canal,  was  thought  to  be  the  forerunner  of  so  vast  an  influx  of  wealth  from  the 
iron,  coal  and  timber  lands  in  Pennsylvania  that  the  city  was  illuminated  on 
the  13th  of  April,  and  a  large  meeting  of  felicitation  was  held  in  the  city  hall ; 
our  citizens  have  not  yet  grown  rich  out  of  it.  Lake  avenue  was  improved  in 
this  year  by  widening  the  sidewalks  to  the  extent  of  twenty  feet,  and  planting 
a  double  row  of  maple  trees  near  the  curb  ;  it  was  due  to  the  efforts  of  Alder- 
man Lewis  Selye  in  the  common  council,  and  to  his  personal  liberality.  This 
was  quite  a  y'ear  for  bridges.  Main  street  bridge,  constructed  of  cut  stone,  was 
finished  at  a  cost  of  over  $60,000,  after  a  prolonged  wrangle  in  the  common 
council,  over  the  efibrts  to  take  the  matter  out  of  the  hands  of  the  commission- 
ers appointed  by  the  legislature  to  build  it.  The  suspension  bridge  at  Carthage 
fell  in  April,  as  described  in  a  previous  chapter.  Andrews  street  bridge  was 
rebuilt  of  iron,  at  a  cost  of  $12,000;  in  tne  course  of  its  construction,  on  the 
19th  of  December,  Nathan  Newhafer,  one  of  the  workmen,  stepped  on  a  loose 
plank,  fell  into  the  water  and  was  swept  over  the  falls.  Court  street  bridge 
was  completed  in  the  following  year,  at  an  expense  about  the  same  as  that  of 
the  Andrews  street  crossing.  A  Methodist  anti-slavery  convention  was  held 
at  St.  John's  church  in  this  city  on  the  i6th  of  December.  On  the  19th  of 
that  month  Ira  Stout  decoyed  his  brother-in-law,  Charles  W.  Littles,  an  attor- 
ney, to  Falls  field,  and  murdered  him,  with  the  assistance  of  Mrs.  Littles, 
Stout's  sister,  throwing  his  body  over  the  precipice ;  in  doing  so,  both  the 
murderers  fell,  rolled  a  part  of  the  way  down,  and  nearly  met  their  own  death  ; 
Stout's  arm  was  broken,  and  both  he  and  his  sister  were  covered  with  burdock 
burrs ;  these  things  were  what  led  to  their  detection ;  Stout  was  tried  the  next 
year,  convicted,  and  executed  on  the  22d  of  October ;  Sarah  Littles  was  tried 
later  and  sent  to  Sing  Sing  for  seven  years. 

The  record,  for  1858  may  begin  with  the  mention  of  a  sermon  preached  at 
Plymouth  church  on  the  I2th  of  January,  by  Rev.  Dr.  Chester  Dewey,  it 
being  the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  his  ordination  as  a  minister.  On  the  2Sth 
Charles  A.  Jones  died  after  a  lingering  illness,  a  victim  of  the  mysterious 
"National  Hotel  disease,"  which  prostrated  so  many  of  the  guests  at  the  ban- 


Events  of  1858-1859.  147 


quet  given  at  Washington  at  the  time  of  President  Buchanan's  inauguration  on 
the  4th  of  March,  in  the  previous  year.  On  the  27th  of  February  the  funeral 
of  two  young  men  —  T.  Hart  Strong  and  Henry  H.  Rochester,  who  had  per- 
ished just  a  week  before,  at  the  burning  of  the  Pacific  Hotel,  in  St.  Louis  — 
took  place  at  St.  Luke's;  the,  church  was  densely  packed,  and  emotions  of  sad- 
ness and  solemnity  were  manifested  by  all  present.  Another  death  —  that  of 
William  H.  Perkins,  who  was  killed  on  the  12th  of  May  in  a  railway  accident 
near  Utica  —  produced  a  more  general  feeling  of  sorrow  than  can  be  appre- 
ciated at  this  day,  when  we  have  not  yet  outgrown  the  calmness  with 
which  the  civil  war  taught  us  to  regard  the  most  frightful  casualties.  The  lay- 
ing of  the  first  Atlantic  cable  was  celebrated  on  the  evening  of  August  17th 
by  a  brilliant  illumination,  fireworks,  bell-ringing,  procession  of  the  military 
and  fire  companies,  etc.;  the  conflagration  at  a  later  hour  is  mentioned  in  an- 
other chapter.  Though  the  date  is  not  generally  associated  with  the  address, 
as  in  the  case  of  Webster's  "seventh  of  March  speech,"  yet  the  place  is  indis- 
solubly  connected  with  the  oration,  delivered  at  Corinthian  hall  on  the  2Sth 
of  October,  by  William  H.  Seward,  in  which,  speaking  of  the  struggle  between 
the  upholders  of  the  systems  of  free  and  slave  labor,  he  declared  it  to  be  "an 
irrepressible  conflict  between  opposing  and  enduring  forces."  The  phrase  was 
instantly  accepted  all  over  the  United  States,  and  was  familiarly  used  till  long 
after  one  of  those  forces  had  ceased  to  endure  and  the  great  statesman  who 
uttered  the  sentence  had  passed  away.  Dr.  F.  F.  Backus,  one  of  the  earliest 
of  the  settlers  of  Rochester,  whose  public  services  are  alluded  to  in  other  por- 
tions of  this  work,  died  in  the  latter  part  of  the  year. 

The  Jews  of  this  city  held  a  large  meeting  on  the  20th  of  January,  1859, 
to  express  the  indignation  which  they  felt,  in  common  with  all  their  race 
throughout  the  world,  over  the  abduction  of  the  Mortara  child  from  his  parents 
by  the  Inquisition  of  Rome.  John  Allen,  the  mayor  of  the  city  in  1844,  died 
in  New  York  on  the  1st  of  April;  he  was  held  in  the  highest  respect  not  only 
for  his  executive  abilities  but  for  his  rare  integrity,  so  that  he  was  often  called 
"honest  John  Allen;"  his  remains,  after  being  brought  from  New  York,  lay  in 
state  in  the  mayor's  room  at  the  court-house;  his  funeral  was  attended  by  all 
the  military  organisations,  the  fire  companies,  the  Masonic  associations  and 
other  bodies;  the  procession  was  under  the  charge  of  ex- Mayor  Hills,  and  the 
bearers  were  ex- Mayors  Child,  Gould,  Kempshall,  Hill,  Field,  Richardson, 
Strong  and  Hayden.  A  matter  in  the  middle  of  August  was  more  than  a 
nine-days'  wonder  and  aroused  an  inordinate  degree  of  public  interest.  Stimu- 
lated by  Blondin's  feats  in  crossing  Niagara,  another  funambulist,  named  De 
Lave,  undertook  to  do  a  similar  thing  here,  and  after  due  advertising  and 
judicious  procrastination  he  made  the  passage  on  the  i6th,  on  a  tight-rope, 
stretched  seven  hundred  feet  obliquely  over  the  falls,  so  that  in  walking  across, 
from  east  to  west,  he  made  the  ascent  in  front  of  and  directly  over  the  princi- 


148  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

pal  sheet  of  water;  a  delighted  crowd  of  not  far  from  20,000  people  witnessed 
the  performance,  which  he  repeated  two  or  three  ijtimes  in  the  course  of  the 
next  ten  days,  so  that  it  got  to  be  an  old  story.  The  first  locomotive  explo- 
sion in  this  city  took  place  on  the  12th  of  September,  when  the  boiler  of  the 
engine  Ontario,  of  the  New  York  Central  road,  was  blown  to  pieces,  just  west 
of  the  depot;  the  engineer  was  so  badly  hurt  that  one  leg  had  to  beamputated, 
and  the  fireman  was  severely  scalded,  but  both  recovered  and  were  employed 
on  the  road  for  many  years.  Agricultural  fairs  of  the  state  association  had 
been  held  from  year  to  year,  here  and  elsewhere,  but  by  i860  it  was  found  that 
the  display  was  too  large  and  the  interests  were  too  divergent  to  allow  of  jus- 
tice being  done  to  each  exhibitor,  so  a  convention  was  held  on  the  15th  of 
March  for  the  purpose  of  forming  the  Western  New  York  Agricultural,  Horti- 
cultural and  Mechanical  association.  Rev.  Dr.  Joseph  Penney  died  on  the  22d; 
he  was  the  pastor  of  the  First  Presbyterian  church  for  many  years  and  subse- 
quently president  of  Hamilton  college.  On  the  ist  of  May  the  new  building 
of  the  Home  for  the  Friendless  was  opened,  with  appropriate  ceremonies.  The. 
first  parade  of  the  Genesee  river  fleet  took  place  on  the  i  ith  of  that  month. 
On  the  17th  the  general  assembly  of  the  Old  School  Presbyterian  church  began 
its  session  at  the  First  church  in  this  city;  Dr.  Breckenridge,  of  Kentucky, 
•being  detained  by  illness.  Dr.  Scott,  of  California,  opened  the  session  with  a 
sermon;  Dr.  Yeomans,  of  Pennsylvania,  was  elected  moderator;  the  assembly 
dissolved  on  the  30th,  after  a  session  of  undisturbed  harmony,  contrary  to  pre- 
vious expectation.  Political  excitement  raged  high  in  this  year,  both  sides  en- 
tering earnestly  into  the  struggle  that  was  felt  to  be  decisive;  a  great  Demo- 
cratic demonstration  was  made  on  the  i8th  of  September,  when  Stephen  A. 
Douglas  spoke  to  an  immense  crowd  at  Washington  square;  still  greater  en- 
thusiasm was  displayed  by  the  Republicans,  who  got  up  the  organisation  of  the 
Wide- Awakes,  which  paraded  the  streets  night  after  night  during  the  campaign, 
the  largest  manifestation  being  on  October  18th,  when  Senators  Wade  and 
Doolittle  spoke  here.  Jonathan  Child  died  on  the  26th  of  October;  he  came 
here  in  1820  and  after  holding  various  offices  under  the  village  government 
he  became  in  1834  the  first  mayor  of  the  city,  in  the  administration  of  which 
office  he  has  been  surpassed  by  none  of  his  successors;  at  his  funeral,  on  the 
30th,  citizens  of  all  classes  displayed  the  respect  in  which  he  was  held.  As  the 
ending  of  this  year  marks  the  termination  of  the  era  of  peace,  it  may  bring  this 
chapter  to  a  close. 


The  War  of  the  Rebellion.  149 


CHAPTER  XXI. 

THE  WAR  TIME   AND  BEYOND. 

Breaking  out  of  the  Rebellion — The  Call  for  Volunteers  —  Enthusiastic  Response  from  Monroe 
County  —  Formation  of  the  Old  Thirteenth  and  other  Regiments  —  Support  of  the  Government  during 
the  War  and  Rejoicing  over  the  Return  of  Peace  —  The  Mock  Funeral  of  Abraham  Lincoln  —  The 
Oil  Fever  and  the  Western  Union  Excitement  —  The  Flood  of  1865  —  Performances  of  the  Fenians  — 
"Swinging  around  the  Circle"  —  Seth  Green's  Fish-Culture. 

IN  accordance  with  the  proclamation  of  President  Buchanan,  and  the  recom- 
mendation of  Governor  Morgan,  the  4th  of  January,  1861,  was  observed, 
here  as  elsewhere,  as  a  day  of  fasting,  humiliation  and  prayer,  services  being 
held  in  most  of  the  city  churches,  of  all  denominations,  and  at  the  university. 
With  the  shadow  of  the  impending  war  hovering  before  all  minds,  the  people 
were  in  no  mood  to  discriminate  justly,  and  an  Abolition  convention  at  Cor- 
inthian hall,  on  the  iith,  was  broken  up  by  a  mob,  some  of  whom  were  nat- 
urally of  the  baser  sort,  while  with  others  the  dread  of  a  dissolution  of  the 
Union  extinguished  their  regard  for  the  right  of  freedom  of  speech.  In,  the 
early  morning  of  February  i8th  thousands  of  citizens  turned  out  to  welcome 
the  president  elect  as  he  passed  through  here  on  the  way  to  Washington,  though 
but  a  small  portion  of  them  could  see  him  and  still  fewer  cbuld  hear  the  speech 
which  he  made  from  the  rear  of  the  train.  The  crash  came  in  April ;  Mr.  Lin- 
coln's call  for  volunteers,  on  the  iSth,  stirred  every  heart;  the  common  council 
immediately  appropriated  $10,000  to  defray  urgent  expenses;  on  the  i8th  a 
meeting  was  held  at  the  city  hall  to  pledge  support  to  the  Union  cause ;  a  sub- 
scription of  over  $40,000  was  raised  in  a  few  days  for  the  benefit  of  families  of 
volunteers  ;  in  a  week  more  a  regiment  of  men  had  enlisted  here,  under  the  di- 
rection of  Prof  Isaac  F.  Quinby ;  early  in  May  they  left  for  Elmira  ;  on  the  29th 
nine  of  the  companies  were  organised,  with  one  from  Livingston  county,  as  the 
Thirteenth  New  York  volunteers ;  they  passed  through  Baltimore,  under  com- 
mand of  Colonel  Quinby,  on  the  30th,  being  the  first  volunteer  regiment  (to- 
gether with  the  Twelfth  New  York)  to  reach  that  city  after  the  attack  on  the  Sixth 
Massachusetts  on  the  19th  of  April.  In  the  autumn  the  Eighth  cavalry  was 
recruited  here,  and  on  the  afternoon  of  Thanksgiving  day,  November  28th,  it 
left  for  Elmira.  The  record  of  these  regiments,  with  that  of  others  and  parts 
of  others  raised  here,  will  be  found  in  another  chapter  of  this  work.  Among 
the  deaths  of  the  year  were  those  of  Dr.  Levi  Ward,  who  came  to  the  Genesee 
country  in  1807,  settling  at  Bergen;  in  181 1  was  one  of  the  commissioners  to 
settle  the  accounts  of  the  builders  of  the  first  bridge  across  the  Genesee  at  this 
point  and  came  here  to  live  in  1817  ;  Selah  Mathews,  one  of  the  eminent  law- 
yers of  his  time  ;  General  Lansing  B.  Swan,  who  had  been  prominently  con- 
nected with  the  militia  for  many  years,  had  organised  the  "Grays"  in  1835  and 
had,  in  connection  with  Gen,  Burroughs,  codified  the  military  laws ;  of  Orlando 


ISO  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Hastings,  of  Ebenezer  Griffin,  the  last  incumbent  of  the  office  of  city  recorder ; 
of  Joshua  Conkey  and  of  Calvin  Huson,  jr.  ;  the  last-named,  who  was  formerly 
district-attorney,  dying  in  prison  at  Richmond,  Virginia,  where  he  had  been 
held  in  confinement  since  being  captured,  together  with  Alfred  Ely,  our  mem- 
ber of  Congress,  at  the  battle  of  Bull  Run,  on  the  21st  of  July. 

The  war  fever,  which  had  somewhat  abated  during  the  winter,  increased  as 
the  summer  of  1862  came  on  and  another  call  was  made  for  troops.  In  July 
Camp  Fitzjohn  Porter  was  established  near  the  Rapids,  on  the  west  side  of 
the  river,  as  Camp  Hillhouse,  on  the  east  side,  could  no  longer  be  retained. 
The  new  quarters  were  intended  for  the  use  of  the  infantry  regiments  which  it 
was  seen  must  be  raised  to  fill  the  quota  of  the  county,  and  under  the  impetus 
given  by  war  meetings  which  were  held  almost  nightly  in  different  parts  of  the 
city  the  recruits  poured  in  fast,  Gen.  John  Williams  doing  his  best  to  organise 
and  prepare  them  for  duty.  In  the  latter  part  of  August  the  dry  goods  mer- 
chants and  other  storekeepers  closed  their  establishments  every  afternoon  at 
three  o'clock,  to  help  on  the  work;  on  the  19th  the  One  Hundred  and  Eighth, 
more  than  a  thousand  strong,  under  command  of  Col.  Palmer,  left  for  Elmira, 
and  the  One  Hundred  and  Fortieth  started  just  one  month  later.  Of  events 
connected  with  the  war  may  be  mentioned  the  reception  of  Congressman  Ely 
on  the  4th  of  January,  on  his  return  from  captivity  in  Richmond,  and  Parson 
Brownlow's  address  to  a  crowded  audience  in  Corinthian  hall,  on  August  12th, 
when  he  told  how  Tennessee  was  fraudulently  and  forcibly  taken  out  of  the  Un- 
ion. On  the  28th  of  July  the  bells  were  tolled  and  flags  hung  at  half  mast,  for 
the  funeral  of  ex-President  Van  Buren,  who  had  died  on  the  24th.  In  Sep- 
tember the  state  fair  was  held  here  ;  Clarissa  street  bridge  was  completed  and 
opened  for  travel  on  the  25th,  at  a  cost  of  about  $1 5,000.  Of  the  deaths  in  the 
city  during  the  year  were  those  of  Mrs.  Hamlet  Scrantom,  in  February  —  who 
came  here  in  1812  and  lived  in  the  first  house  built  on  the  west  side  of  the  river 
—  and  of  Hervey  Ely,  in  November;  he  came  here  in  18 13,  and  his  promi- 
nence may  be  known  by  the  frequency  with  which  his  name  appears  in  the  early 
chapters  of  this  work. 

Joy  and  exultation  opened  the  year  1863,  for  its  beginning  marked  the  en- 
franchisement of  most  of  the  colored  race  on  this  continent,  and  a  jubilant 
emancipation  celebration  was  held  at  Corinthian  hall  on  the  4th  of  January. 
On  the  I  ith  of  February  the  Eagle  Hotel  was  closed,  after  having  been  kept 
open  for  forty  years.  April  was  distinguished  by  a  religious  revival  in  many  of 
the  churches.  St.  Mary's  hospital  corner-stone  was  laid  on  the  28th  of  June. 
The  first  street  car  ran  on  the  9th  of  July.  Our  streets  witnessed  during  this 
year  many  a  military  funeral  of  one  after  another  of  those  who  fell  in  battle  or 
died  from  wounds  or  exposure  ;  of  those  the  most  impressive  was  that,  on  the  1 5  th 
of  July,  of  Patrick  H.  O'Rourke,  colonel  of  the  One  Hundred  and  Fortieth,  who 
was  killed  at  Gettysburg  on  the  2d.      The  hideous  draft  riots  in  New  York  called 


Events  of  1864.  151 


out  the  citizen  soldiery  to  suppress  them,  and  the  Fifty-fourth  left  here  to  aid  in 
the  work  on  the  i6th  of  July.  Three  weeks  later  the  conscription  took  place  here, 
beginning  on  the  5th  of  August  and  continuing  for  three  days,  during  which 
1,096  names  were  drawn  from  the  wheel  to  fill  the  quota,  from  the  city  alone ; 
the  drawing  was  done  by  Robert  H.  Fenn,  a  highly  respected  citizen  who  was 
totally  blind.  The  6th  of  August  was  observed  as  a  day  of  thanksgiving  for 
the  national  victory  at  Gettysburg.  No  one  who  was  in  Rochester  from  the 
14th  to  the  22d  of  December  can  forget  the  grand  bazaar  that  was  held  in 
Corinthian  hall  during  that  week,  for  the  benefit  of  the  soldiers ;  it  was  well  at- 
tended throughout,  day  and  evening,  and  the  receipts  were  over  $15,000. 
The  necrological  record  for  the  year  embraces  the  names  of  Rev.  Dr.  John  T. 
Coit,  pastor  of  St.  Peter's  church  ;  Isaac  R.  Elwood,  the  last  clerk  and  attorney 
of  the  villlage,  city  clerk  in  1838,  clerk  of  the  state  Senate  from  1842  to  1848,  and 
secretary  of  the  Western  Union  for  many  years ,  William  C.  Bloss,  eminent  as 
an  Abolitionist  and  general  reformer,  member  of  Assembly  in  1845,  '4^  ^^^  '47  ! 
WilUiam  S.  Bishop,  formerly  district  attorney  and  member  of  the  state  Senate  ; 
Samuel  G.  Andrews,  who  came  here  in  1815,  was  mayor  in  1840  and  1856, 
county  clerk,  clerk  of  the  state  Senate  and  representative  in  Congress ;  Rev.  Dr. 
Calvin  Pease,  pastor  of  the  First  Presbyterian  church ;  Silas  O.  Smith  and  his 
son,  L.  Ward  Smith. 

The  progress  and  effects  of  the  war  were  plainlj'-  visible  by  reason  of  the 
increasing  number  of  pension  agencies,  which  multiplied  rapidly  in  the  early 
part  of  1864,  and  by  the  offering  of  high  bounties  to  fill  out  the  quota  under 
the  last  call  for  300,000  men, 'which  had  been  increased  to  500,000  long  before 
the  contingent  demanded  was  obtained  ;  the  county  gave  $300  to  each  recruit, 
the  city  gave  an  additional  sum,  each  ward  something  further,  and  besides 
those  was  the  immense  amount  frequently  paid  by  individuals  for  substitutes. 
This  brought  into  prominence  the  breed  of  "scalpers,"  the  go-betweens  or  mid- 
dle-men, who  took  money  from  all  parties,  and  cheated  most  of  them  ;  as  a  natu- 
ral consequence  of  the  swindling,  "bounty -jumping"  became  disgracefully  com- 
mon. Still,  the  dreadful  conscription,  which  was  again  enforced  elsewhere 
during  the  summer,  was  avoided  in  the  city,  and  people  were  satisfied.  The 
funeral  of  Major  Jerry  Sullivan,  of  the  First  Veteran  cavalry,  who  was  killed 
in  a  skirmish  in  Virginia,  at  the  age  of  twenty-four,  on  the  loth  of  March, 
took  place  on  the  19th,  the  remains,  after  lying  in  state  in  the  city  hall,  being 
borne  to  the  Pinnacle  cemetery  by  the  Alert  hose  company  and  the  "old  Thir- 
teenth "  (of  the  latter  of  which  he  was  one  of  the  original  officers),  the  Union 
Blues  acting  as  escort,  and  other  military  bodies  joining  in  the  procession.  On 
the  27th  of  July  the  Fifty-fourth  left  for  Elmira,  under  command  of  Captain 
Sellinger,  to  serve  in  guarding  the  rebel  prisoners  in  camp  there.  The  City 
hospital  was  opened  and  dedicated  on  the  28th  of  January  ;  the  Brackett  House 
was  built  during  the  summer.      Rev.  James  Nichols,  formerly  a  school  teacher 


152  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

and  then  a  chaplain  in  the  army ;  Anson  House,  one  of  the  old  pioneers ;  Jason 
Baker,  formerly  county  treasurer ;  Captain  Daniel  Loomis  —  one  of  the  most 
prominent  builders  of  early  days,  who  built  the  old  jail  in  1822  and  the  present 
jail  (in  connection  with  Richard  Gorsline)  about  sixteen  years  later —  and  Col- 
onel Eliphaz  Trimmer,  member  of  Assembly  in  1857  and  1863,  died  during  the 
year. 

As  though  the  war  did  not  offer  enough  excitement,  there  were  about  this 
time  two  phases  of  speculation  that  amounted  almost  to  popular  frenzy  —  the 
petroleum  investments  and  the  Western  Union  telegraph  stock-buying.  As  to 
the  former  of  these,  it  is  difficult  to  name  any*  one  year  as  that  most  closely 
connected  with  the  ruinous  enterprises  that  were  engaged  in,  but  perhaps  1 864 
will  do  as  well  as  any  other.  Two  years  before  that  the  oil  fields  of  Pennsyl- 
vania had  given  unmistakable  indications  of  the  vast  treasure  that  lay  beneath 
the  surface  of  the  ground,  and  when  the  Noble  well  began  to  pour  forth  a  steady 
stream  of  some  two  thousand  barrels  a  day,  the  excitement,  which  was  at  first 
local,  spread  beyond  the  limits  of  that  state,  and  especially  through  the  western 
part  of  New  York.  Other  flowing  wells  quickly  followed,  and  then  capital 
began  to  flow  down  from  Rochester  to  meet  the  gushing  tide  of  oil,  and  to 
increase  the  production  by  boring  in  every  spot  where  the  peculiar  appearance 
of  the  earth  afforded  the  slightest  ground  for  hope.  Petroleum  Center,  a  little 
place  on  Oil  creek,  was  built  up  almost  entirely  by  Rochester  money;  the 
McCollum  farm,  and  other  large  tracts  of  land,  were  purchased  —  those  bought 
first  being  obtained  for  low  prices,  but  those  taken  later  on  being  sold  for  im- 
mense sums  —  many  went  down  there  from  here  to  work  in  an  honest,  industri- 
ous manner,  attracted  by  the  high  wages  that  were  paid  for  day  labor,  and  in 
one  way  or  another  a  large  proportion  of  the  families  of  this  city  were  inter- 
ested in  the  development  of  the  slippery  fluid.  A  few  fortunes  were  made, 
but  a  great  many  more  were  lost,  and  even  the  wealth  that  was  gained  gener- 
ally stayed  with  its  possessor  but  a  short  time. 

>  The  other  bubble  was  that  of  the  Western  Union  telegraph  stock.  The 
headquarters  of  the  company  were  then  in  this  city,  and  on  that  account  the 
foolish  enthusiasm  over  its  prosperity  was  almost  confined  to  Rochester.  In 
the  early  part  of  1863  the  stock  began  to  advance,  and  was  soon  so  far  above 
par  that  the  capital  was  increased,  in  March  of  that  year,  one  hundred  per 
cent,  in  spite  of  which  the  appreciation  continued  at  such  a  rate  that  in  Au- 
gust even  the  doubled  stock  was  sold  at  a  premium,  and  the  advance  was  not 
checked  by  the  further  watering  of  the  stock,  to  the  extent  of  one-third  addi- 
tional, in  December.  Exalted  dividends  declared  out  of  questionable  profits 
were  accepted  by  many,  without  close  scrutiny  of  the  concern,  but  most  people 
were  indifferent  to  even  those  shadowy  reasons,  and  the  majority  of  those  who 
had  any  money  left  from  their  operations  in  oil  were  eager  to  buy  Western 
Union  at  any  figure,  providing  it  was  higher  than  that  of  the  previous  day. 


The  Flood  of  1865.  153 


The  end  was  slow  in  coming,  but  it  arrived  at  last.  In  April,  1864,  the  highest 
point  was  reached ;  toward  the  end  of  that  month  the  doubled  stock  actually 
sold  at  $230  per  share ;  a  few  thousand  shares  at  that  price  were  quietly  put 
on  the  market,  which  broke  under  the  weight,  and  the  stock  fell.  Shortly  after 
the  turn  another  doubling  of  stock  took  place,  on  the  nth  of  May,  with  the 
hope  of  stemming  the  downward  current ;  the  desired  effect  was  produced  by 
that  or  some  other  means,  for  the  new  certificates  sold  at  par,  or  in  that  neigh- 
borhood, for  the  rest  of  the  year.  What  was  called  the  "Western  Union  ex- 
tension "  stock,  issued  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  the  line  across  Behring  strait 
into  Asia,  was  also  a  favorite  and  costly  source  of  amusement  at  this  time,  until 
the  proved  permanency  of  the  Atlantic  cable  obliterated  it. 

Since  1865  that  has  always  been  known  in  this  locality  as  "the  year  of  the 
flood."  After  very  cold  weather  and  a  heavy  fall  of  snow  a  thaw  came  on 
suddenly  in  the  middle  of  March;  on  the  i6th  some  alarm  was  felt  here,  as 
there  was  quite  a  freshet  up  .the  valle)';  on  the  afternoon  of  Friday,  the  ,17th, 
the  accumulation  of  water  began  to  appear  here,  the  Genesee  Valley  canal  was 
soon  overflowed,  then  the  Erie  was  unable  to  hold  what  was  poured  into  it 
from  the  feeder,  then  the  river  itself  stretched  beyond  its  channel  and  when 
darkness  came  on  (and  stayed,  for  the  flow  of  gas  stopped  as  the  works  were 
submerged)  the  central  part  of  the  city  was  under  water;  all  night  long  and 
through  Saturday  morning  it  kept  rising,  boats  being  used  in  the  streets  where 
the  current  was  not  too  rapid  to  allow  of  navigation,  to  rescue  people  in  danger 
and  to  supply  the  hungry  with  food;  late  in  the  afternoon  the  water  began  to 
slowly  subside,  but  it  was  not  till  Sunday  afternoon  that  the  streets  were  entirely 
clear ;  the  gas  supply  did  not  recommence  for  several  days,  as  many  of  the 
mains  and  other  pipes  were  broken ;  through  travel  on  the  railroad  did  not  begin 
till  long  after  that,  for  both  the  New  York  Central  bridge  and  the  Erie  bridge 
up  the  river  were  swept  away  at  an  early  stage  of  the  proceedings,  even  rail- 
road communication  was  suspended  for  two  days,  as  no  trains  could  get  into 
the  old  depot  on  the  west  side,  while  eastward  the  track  was  torn  up  by  floods 
between  here  and  Syracuse;  the  direct  damage  done  to  property  could  not  be 
exactly  calculated,  but  it  was  doubtless  over  a  million  dollars;  with  all  the 
catastrophe  and  all  the  peril  not  a  single  life  was  lost.  After  it  was  over,  the 
city  commissioned  Daniel  Marsh,  the  engineer,  to  examine  into  the  causes  of 
the  deluge ;  he  reported  that  it  was  due  entirely  to  the  encroachments  on  the 
river  bed  between  the  aqueduct  and  the  upper  falls,  which  made  the  channel 
too  narrow  for  the  outflow  of  water  from  a  territory  of  twelve  hundred  square 
miles.  About  the  same  time  the  legislature  named  a  commission  of  three, 
Levi  A.  Ward  being  the  chairman,  to  investigate  the  causes  and  propose 
measures  to  prevent  the  recurrence  of  the  calamity.  Gen.  I.  F.  Quinby,  who 
was  selected  as  the  engineer  of  the  commission,  made  a  thorough  examination 
of  the  river  between  this  city  and  Geneseo,  and  found  that  the  openings  in  the 


154  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

embankment  of  the  Erie  railroad  over  the  flats  from  Avon  westward  were  in- 
sufficient to  pass  the  immense  volume  of  water  that  came  down  the  river,  the 
consequence  of  which  was  the  formation  of  a  large  lake  extending  from  the 
embankment  southward  as  far  as  Geneseo.  The  water  finally  rose  high  enough 
to  overflow  the  embankment  and  sweep  away,  in  a  space  of  four  hours, 
twelve  hundred  linear  feet  of  the  same,  and  thus  this  vast  reservoir  was  pre- 
cipitated upon  us;  which  explains  the  sudden  rise  of  the  water  in  this  city. 
Those  openings  in  the  embankment  have  been  greatly  enlarged  since  then,  so 
that,  although  a  freshet  and  something  of  an  overflow  in  the  city  may  occur 
in  any  year,  a  disaster  like  that  of  1865  cannot  well  take  place  again,  at  least 
from  the  same  cause. 

Gen.  Lee  surrendered  on  the  9th  of  April ;  the  news  reached  here  at  nine 
o'clock  in  the  evening;  an  hour  later  the  fire  alarm  bell  rang  out  the  glad  tid- 
ings that  the  war  was  ended  at  last;  the  streets  were  instantly  filled  with  people, 
the  mayor  read  the  dispatches  aloud  from  the  steps  of  the  Powers  bank  and  an 
impromptu  celebration  on  a  grand  scale  took  place,  with  fireworks,  bonfires, 
salutes  by  th'e  Grays,  speeches  and  singing  of  patriotic  songs  by  thousands  of 
inharmonious  and  happy  voices.  Within  a  week  rejoicing  was  changed  to 
gloom;  President  Lincoln  was  murdered  on  the  14th  and  there  was  mourning 
throughout  the  land;  on  the  19th,  the  day  of  the  funeral  at  Washington,  all 
business  places  here  were  closed,  services  were  held  at  noon  in  all  the  churches,  at 
two  o'clock  the  procession,  unparalleled  in  numbers  and  variety,  with  a  funeral' 
car,  bearing  a  cenotaph,  in  the  midst,  walked  through  the  streets  from  the 
court-house  square,  returning  to  the  same;  the  oration  was  delivered  by  Ros- 
well  Hart.  Mr.  Lincoln's  remains  passed  through  the  city  at  three  o'clock  on 
the  morning  of  the  27th;  the  military  turned  out  in  full  force  and  the 
gathering  numbered,  perhaps,  as  many  thousands  as  had  witnessed  the  arrival 
here,  more  than  four  years  before,  of  the  man  who  afterward  so  well  fulfilled 
the  nation's  hopes  that  rested  on  him  then.  A  grand  demonstration  of  the 
Fenian  brotherhood  took  place,  at  the  court-house,  on  the  12th  of  August: 
Judge  Chumasero  and  others  spoke.  During  the  year  the  city  lost,  by  death, 
Thomas  Kempshall,  who  had  been  a  member  of  the  first  common  council, 
mayor  in  1837  and  member  of  Congress  in  1839;  Moses  Chapin,  who  came 
here  in  1816,  was  one  of  the  trustees  of  the  village  and  the  first  judge  of  Mon- 
roe county,  and  John  C.  Nash,  formerly  city  clerk,  county  clerk  and  mayor, 
successively. 

Considerable  excitement  was  occasioned  by  the  murder,  on  the  8th  of 
March,  1866,  of  Jonathan  T.  Orton,  a  hackman,  living  on  Union  street,  whose 
body  was  found  in  his  stable,  with  his  skull  smashed  in ;  one  man  was  arrested, 
but  he  proved  an  alibi;  no  judicial  trace  of  the  murderer  was  ever  found. 
During  the  last  week  in  May  the  general  synod  of  the  Reformed  Presbyterian 
church   was  held  here ;    the  moderator  was  Rev.  R.  J.  Dodds,  a  returned  mis- 


KVfeNTS  OF  1867.  155 


sidfidi-y  frorii  Syria.  In  tlie  early  part  of  June  the  Fenians  in  this  eity  were 
Jjrfeatly  fexefcised  cfver  the  invasidii  of  Caiiada  by  sc/me  warlike  rriembers  of  the 
brotherhood  and  the  battle  with  the  "Queen's  Own  ;  "  several  went  from  here, 
and  those  IVho  did  hot  go  sympathised  with  those  who  did.  Iii  the  perforihahce 
of  that  presidential  feat  known  as  "swinging  ardund  the  circle,"  Ahdrfew  John- 
son, accohipanied  by  Secretaries  Seward  and  Welles,  Generals  Grant  and 
Custer,  Admifal  Farfagut  and  other  notables,  reached  here  on  Septerriber  1st, 
and  gave  an  open-air  reception  frotii  the  balcony  of  Congress  Hall  to  a  large 
crowd  which  was  animated  by  curiosity  rather  than  enthusiasm.  There  \^'as  a 
little  niisiiiiderstariding  in  the  Republican  congfessional  convention  this  year, 
the  result  being  that,  while  Roswell  Hart  received  a  renomirtatidn  fronrt  one 
portion,  Lewis  Selye  was  made  the  candidate  of  the  other  side ;  the  Democrats 
adopted  the  latter  gentleman  and  he  was  elected. 

A  slight  attempt  at  a  flood  Ivas  made  in  the  middle  of  February,  I867,  when 
the  ice  gorged  at  the  piers  of  the  Erie  failroad  bridge,  throwing  the  water  into 
the  Genesee  Valley  canal,  which  overflowed  into  some  of  the  low-lying  streets 
in  the  third  and  eighth  wards ;  the  next  day  the  cellars  and  basements  of  the 
factories  on  Brown's  race  were  filled  ;  there  was  a  good  deal  of  damage  and 
more  alarm,  lest  there  should  be  another  calamity  like  that  of  two  years  be- 
fore. A  board  of  trade  was  established  here  on  the  gth  of  March,  with  George 
J.  Whitney  as  president,  Gilman  H.  Perkins  as  vice-president,  Charles  B.  Hill 
as  secretary  and  E.  N.  Buell  as  treasurer ;  after  livinig  a  sleepy  life  for  a  few 
months,  it  slowly  expired.  The  "Black  Crook"  rah  here,  at  the  Metropolitan 
opera  house,  for  thirty-six  riights  in  the  early  part  of  the  year.  Ristori  played 
in  "Queen  Elizabeth"  on  the  i6th  of  April ;  every  inch  of  room  in  Corinthian 
hall  was  filled,  at  a  high  price.  On  the  ibth  of  May  some  boys  found  in  the 
river  at  Charlotte  the  body  of  Louis  Fox,  a  celebrated  billiard  player,  who  had 
been  missing  since  the  4th  of  the  previous  December;  he  had  imdoubtedly 
committed  suicide  in  aberration  of  mind,  rhainly  induced  by  chagrin  over  the 
loss  of  the  champion  cue  of  the  United  States  in  a  contest  with  Joseph  Deery 
at  Washington  hall  more  than  a  year  before  his  disappearance.  In  the  rtiiddle 
of  May  the  Episcopal  board  of  missions  met  here,  presided  over  by  Bishop  Lee, 
of  Iowa ;  also,  the  general  asseinbly  of  the  New  School  Presbyterian  church. 
Rev.  Dr.  Nel.son,  of  St.  Louis,  moderator.  Weston,  the  pedestrian,  pasSed 
through  here  at  midnight  of  November  12th,  on  his  walk  from  Portland  to 
Chicago.  Jacob  Gould  died  November  iSth  ;  he  was  one  of  the  village  trus- 
tees, and  second  rrtayor  of  the  city,  appointed  major-genei-al  of  artillery  by  Gov. 
Clinton,  collector  of  customs  under  Jackson  and  Van  Buren,  United  States 
marshal  under  Polk.  Di'-  M.  M.  Mathews,  a  riiuch  respected  and  beloved  phy- 
sician, died  November  23d.  Dr.  Chester  Dewey  died  December  15th;  he  vfras 
widely  known  as  a  scholar  and  an  educator  for  more  than  half  a  century;  a 
sketch  of  his  life  and  services  will  be  found  in  another  part  of  this  volume. 

1 1 


156  History  OF  THE  City  OF  Rochester. 

With  the  exception  of  delightful  readings  from  his  own  works,  by  Charles 
Dickens,  on  the  10  and  nth  of  March,  nothing  occurred  in  1868  to  interest 
the  people  of  Rochester  till  Joseph  Messner  killed  his  wife,  in  a  fit  of  passion, 
on  the  13th  of  April,  in  the  town  of  Penfield ;  he  was  tried  here  the  next  year 
and  sentenced  to  be  executed  on  the  4th  of  June,  1869;  just  before  that  time 
came  Gov.  Hofifman  granted  a  reprieve  for  two  weeks,  then  a  writ  of  error  was 
granted,  and,  after  argument  at  the  general  term,  Messner  was  again  sentenced 
to  be  hanged  on  the  loth  of  December;  on  the  very  day  before  that  date  a 
stay  was  granted  by  Judge  Grover;  after  more  than  a  year's  delay  the  case 
was  argued  before  the  court  of  appeals,  a  new  trial  was  ordered,  which  took 
place  in  the  following  June,  and  he  was  again  sentenced  to  meet  his  death  on 
the  nth  of  August,  1871;  this  time  the  judgment  was  carried  into  effect. 
While  an  engine  on  the  Genesee  Valley  road  was  standing  still,  a  little  south 
of  the  depot,  on  Exchange  street,  on  the  evening  of  September  14th,  the  boiler 
exploded ;  the  engineer,  the  brakeman,  and  a  little  girl  standing  by  were 
instantly  killed ;  two  other  little  girls  were  so  badly  injured  that  they  died  a 
few  hours  later.  More  than  the  usual  number  of  buildings  were  erected  this 
year,  no  less  than  503  —  of  which  seven  were  of  stone  —  being  completed; 
their  total  value,  by  careful  estimate  of  each  one,  was  $1,456,100.  John  V. 
Richardson,  who,  after  being  professor  of  Latin  at  Madison  university,  came 
here  in  1850  and  occupied  the  same  chair  in  our  university,  died  in  this  year; 
also,  Martin  S.  Newton,  formerly  district- attorney. 

Practical  operations  in  fish-hatching  were  begun  in  1869  under  the  direc- 
tion of  Seth  Green,  who  had  begun  five  years  before  to  experiment  privately 
in  that  way,  and  had  succeeded,  by  using  the  least  possible  quantity  of  water 
proportional  to  the  milt  used,  in  quadrupling  the  natural  product  of  the  fish ; 
in  1867,  his  discoveries  being  made  known,  he  had  given  a  public  exhibition 
of  his  methods  at  Holyoke,  Massachusetts,  on  the  Connecticut  river;  in  1868 
he  and  Horatio  Seymour  and  Robert  B.  Roosevelt  had  been  appointed  fish 
commissioners  of  New  York  state,  and  by  this  time  the  charge  of  the  whole 
matter  was  given  into  his  hands,  his  own  hatchery  at  Caledonia  being  pur- 
chased by  the  state  for  that  purpose.  By  the  falling  of  a  floor  in  the  German 
school  of  Saints  Peter  and  Paul,  on  East  Maple  street,  while  the  room  was 
packed  with  children  and  adults  for  the  Epiphany  festival,  on  the  evening  of 
January  6th,  eight  were  killed  outright  and  nearly  fifty  badly  injured ;  the 
most  frightful  accident  that  ever  happened  in  this  city ;  the  cause  was  a  defect 
in  the  building,  by  which  a  brick  pier  supporting  iron  columns  below  the  floor 
gave  way  ;  no  person  was  censured  by  the  coroner's  jury.  St.  Patrick's  cathe- 
dral was  opened  with  gorgeous  ceremonies  on  the  1 7th  of  March,  by  Bishop 
Mc^uaid,  assisted  by  Bishop  Ryan,  of  Buffalo,  and  all  the  priests  of  this  dio- 
cese, some  fifty  in  number.  The  Odd  Fellows  celebrated  their  semi-centennial 
on  the  26th  of  April.     The  swing  bridge  across  the  canal  at  Exchange  street 


Events  of  1870.  iS7 


was  built  in  the  early  part  of  this  year,  replacing  the  ancient  structure  with  an 
ascent  by  steps  at  both  sides,  which,  to  most  of  the  old  inhabitants,  seemed  a 
necessary  part  of  the  Erie  canal.  The  Powers  block,  which  had  been  begun 
in  the  previous  year  (save  that  the  northernmost  store  had  been  built  a  few 
years  before),  was  finished  before  the  end  of  this  —  so  far,  that  is,  as  the  State 
street  part  and  the  stone  part  on  West  Main  street  are  concerned  ;  the  expense 
somewhat  exceeded  the  original  estimate  of  $300,000.  The  death  record  of 
the  year  includes  the  names  of  Colonel  John  H.  Thompson,  widely  known  as 
an  earnest  worker  in  the  Sunday-school  cause,  and  for  eighteen  years  the  over- 
seer of  the  poor;  of  William  Pitkin,  who  came  here  in  18 14,  was  mayor  of  the 
city  in  1845-46,  and  held  numerous  positions  of  responsibilify  and  trust  in 
educational  and  financial  institutions  ;  of  Rev.  Dr.  Samuel  Luckey,  an  eminent 
Methodist  clergyman,  editor  of  the  Christian  Advocate  and  other  denomina- 
tional journals,  and  appointed  regent  of  the  university  of  the  state  of  New 
York  in  1847,  ^""^  of  Frederick  Starr,  a  zealous  champion  of  the  temperance 
cause,  connected  with  many  religious  movements,  and  a  member  of  Assernbly 
in  1839. 

There  were  enough  of  the  veterans  of  the  war  of  18 12  left  in  1870  to  hold 
a  meeting  at  the  court-house  on  the  13th  of  January;  John  Seeley,  of  Roch- 
ester, occupied  the  chair,  but  most  of  those  in  attendance  were  from  the  towns 
of  the  county,  very  few  from  the  city.  A  great  canal  convention  was  held  at 
Corinthian  hall  on  the  19th,  to  promote  the  abolition  of  the  contract  system 
in  repairing  the  canals ;  Henry  L.  Fish  called  the  convention  to  order,  and 
Nathaniel  Sands,  of  New  York,  was  made  president;  letters  were  read  from 
most  of  the  state  officers ;  many  addresses  were  made,  the  longest  by  ex-Gov- 
ernor Seymour.  A  successor  or  outgrowth  of  this  convention  was  held  at  the 
same  place  on  the  isth  of  July,  to  advocate  the  extension  of  the  principles 
involved;  ex-Governor- Seymour  was  again  present,  and  among  the  others 
were  Governor  Fairchild,  of  Wisconsin ;  Governor  Merrill,  of  Iowa,  and  Peter 
Cooper,  of  New  York;  long  speeches  by  those  named,  and  .by  others.  The 
state  sportsmen's  convention  was  held  here  during  the  week  beginning  May 
23d ;  the  contest  for  prizes  took  place  at  the  fair  grounds ;  large  attendance 
and  much  enjoyment.  The  Fenians,  in  that  same  week,  undertook  to  get  up 
a  shooting-match  of  their  own,  and  to  repeat  the  performances  of  four  years 
before;  several  car-loads  of  men  passed  through,  amid  increasing  excitement 
on  the  part  of  the  resident  members  of  the  brotherhood ;  one  company  left 
here  on  the  24th,  under  command  of  Captain  (or  "General")  O'Ncil,  and  other 
squads  stood  ready  to  depart,  when  their  ardor  was  completely  dampened  by 
the  arrest  of  O'Neil  by  the  United  States  marshal,  and  his  lodgment  in  jail  be- 
fore he  could  or  would  get  across  the  border  ;  thus  ended  the  last  attempt  at  an 
invasion  of  Canada. 

The  state  arsenal,  fronting  on  Washington  square,  was  built  in  the  latter 


IS8  HlSTORV  OF  THE  ClTY  OF  ROCHESTER. 

part  of  this  year ;  in  November  the  Powers  block  was  extended  on  West  Main 
street  to  Pindell  alley,  and  was  then  regarded  as  complete,  though  there  was 
at  that  time  no  tower,  and  but  a  single  mansard  story,  which  was  upon  the 
stone  corner  part  only.  The  obsequies  of  Colonel  George  Ryan,  of  the  One 
Hundred  and- Fortieth,  who  was  killed  at  Laurel  Hill  on  the  8th  of  May,  1864, 
were  held  on  the  19th  of  June  in  this  year;  the  funeral  services  were  at  St. 
Patrick's  cathedral,  and  a  long  procession  of  veterans,  with  many  other  organ- 
isations, followed  the  remains  to  the  cemetery.  Among  the  deaths  of  old  citi- 
zens during  the  year  were  those  of  Ebenezer  Ely,  aged  ninety-three,  who, 
after  being  connected  with  a  bank  at  Canandaigua-  from  18 14  to  1820,  came, 
here  in  the  latter  year  and  opened  a  broker's  office,  which  he  kept  from  that  time 
till  a  few  days  before  he  died  ;  of  S.  W.  D.  Moore,  mayor  of  the  city  in  1859 
and  1866,  who  was  universally  known  as  'Squire  Moore,  from  his  having  held 
the  office  of  police  justice  for  nine  years  ;  of  Hamlin  Stilwell,  who  was  engaged 
in  the  canal  packet  business  in  early  years,  was  mayor  in  1852,  and  held  other 
municipal  offices ;  of  Patrick  G.  Buchan,  who  was  clerk  of  the  mayor's  court 
in  1835,  and  county  judge  from  1847  to  1851,  and  of  Mrs.  Mary  Ann  Scran- 
tom,  the  wife  of  Edwin  Scrantom,  who  came  here  with  her  father,  Asa  Sibley, 
in  1 818,  taught  school  the  next  year,  near  the  Rapids,  when  she  was  fifteen 
years  old,  and  afterward  set  type  for  her  brothers,  Derick  and  Levi  W.  Sibley, 
when  they  published  the  Gazette. 


CHAPTER   XXir. 

TO  THE  FIFTIETH   BIRTHDAY. 

The   Howard   Riot  —  The  Small-Pox    and  Other    Oi.seases  —  The  New  City  Hall—  Mount   Hope 
Records  Found  in  Canada  —  John  Clark's  Murder  of  Trevor  — The  Centennial  Celebration  of  1876 

—  The  Railroad  Strike  of  1877 —  The  Mock  Funeral  of  President  Carficld  —  The  Cunningham  Strike 

—  The  Telegraphers'  Strike — Principal   Improvements  in  the  City  in   1883,  with  their  Cost  —  Other 
Statistics. 

IN  187 1  there  was  a  surfeit  of  crimes  of  all  sorts  and  of  accidents  of  almost 
every  description,  but  of  the  homicides  committed  none  were  adjudged  by 
court  and  jury  sufficiently  flagitious  to  rise  (or  sink)  to  the  grade  of  murder  in 
the  first  degree,  while  of  the  casualties  none  were  so  peculiar  in  their  nature  as 
to  deserve  mention.  Little  change,  and  still  less  progress,  is  discernible  in  the 
city's  records  during  that  time.  On  the  loth  of  April  the  Germans  held  a 
grand  peace  jubilee  over  the  closing  of  the  Franco-Prussian  war  and  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  German  empire.  A  serious  break  in  the  Erie  canal  at  the  "Ox- 
bow," near  Fairport,  on  the  28th  of  April,  called  into  requisition  hundreds  of 


Mournful  Tragedy.  159 


laborers  for  several  days ;  they  got  up  a  strike  on  the  4th  of  May  and  were  so 
demonstrative  that  the  Fifty-fourth  had  to  be  sent  up  there ;  several  were 
arrested,  work  was  resumed  and  the  break  closed  on  the  9th.  Death  was  busy 
throughout  the  year,  and  carried  off  more  than  one  prominent  citizen  ;  of  those 
who  departed,  the  following  are  but  a  small  proportion  :  H.  N.  Curtis,  an  ex- 
tensive owner  of  business  blocks ;  Dr.  Horatio  N.  Fenn,  who  came  here  as 
early  as  18 17,  and  who,  after  practising  medicine  a  few  years,  gave  up  general 
practice  and  devoted  himself  exclusively  to  dentistry,  being  the  first  in  Western 
New  York  to  do  so,  as  far  as  is  known  ;  Preston  Smith,  who  was  one  of  the 
very  earliest  pioneers  of  Rochester,  coming  here  in  1813,  being  sent  out  by 
Josiah  Rissell,  of  Pittsfield,  Massachusetts,  to  build  a  store  here  for  him  and 
Klisha  Ely,  and  living  here  constantly  from  181 5  till  his  death,  in  a  quiet,  un- 
obtrusive way  ;  Rev.  Dr.  Barker,  who  had  been  the  pastor  of  St.  Mary's  (Cath- 
olic) church  for  many  years  ;  Rev.  Dr.  Albert  G.  Hall,  for  thirty-two  yeai-s  the 
pastor  of  the  Third  Presbyterian  church  and  a  theologian  of  high  standing  in 
the  denomination  ;  Aristarchus  Champion,  one  of  the  richest  men  in  this  part 
of  the  state  and  one  of  the  few  whose  great  wealth  was  equaled  by  his  benev- 
olence;  George  H.  Mumford,  eminent  as  a  lawyer,  a  financier  and  a  promoter 
of  one  of  the  worthiest  charities,  and  Dr.  Philander  G.  Tobey,  the  oldest  phy- 
sician in  practice  in  the  city  at  the  time  of  his  death. 

A  mournful  tragedy  marked  the  opening  of  the  year  1872.  A  young 
negro  named  Howard  had  committed  an  aggravated  assault  on  one  of  the  last 
days  of  the  old  year,  for  which,  after  being  captured  some  miles  out  of  town 
by  officers  in  pursuit  of  him,  he  had  been  thrown  into  jail,  to  await  his  trial  in 
its  regular  course;  in  the  morning  of  January  3d,  as  he  was  brought  to  town, 
the  people  in  the  streets  were  so  threatening  in  their  attitude  that  the  Fifty- 
fourth  was  ordered  out  to  guard  the  jail  and  prevent  any  attempt  to  take  the 
prisoner  from  the  authorities  and  execute  vengeance  upon  him;  the  precaution 
was  taken  none  too  soon,  for,  as  soon  as  darkness  came  on,  a  large  crowd 
gathered  on  Exchange  street  and  on  Court  street  as  far  as  the  bridge  over  the 
race-way,  at  the  west  end  of  which  companies  D  and  G  were  posted;  after 
taunting  the  military  for  some  time  the  mob  began  to  throw  stones  at  them, 
and  at  last  the  soldiers,  after  they  had  repeatedly  asked  their  officers  to  be 
allowed  either  to  advance  or  to  fall  back,  were  ordered  to  disperse  the  rioters; 
the  charge  was  made  and  the  mob  slowly  retired,  but  more  missiles  were  hurled, 
some  of  them  striking  and  wounding  different  members  of  the  militia ;  a  mem- 
ber of  company  D  then  discharged  his  musket,  which  was  followed  by  a  vol- 
ley from  both  companies;  several  fell  to  the  ground  at  once,  but  so  dense  were 
the  crowd  and  the  darkness  that  it  was  not  for  several  minutes  generally  known 
whether  the  result  was  serious ;  finally  the  wounded  were  gathered  up  and 
carried  to  adjacent  saloons,  to  the  City  hospital  or  to  their  homes,  as  the  nature 
of  their  wounds  permitted;   two  of  them,   John  Elter  and  Henry  Merlau,  died 


i6o  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

in  a  few  moments;  the  others,  five  in  number,  eventually  recovered;  the  crowd 
then  slowly  dispersed.  The  next  afternoon  another  demonstration  was  made, 
but  the  police,  under  Captain  Sullivan,  scattered  the  crowd  without  nluch 
difficulty  and  there  was  no  occasion  for  the  services  of  the  veteran  organisa- 
tions —  the  Old  Thirteenth  and  the  Ryan  Zouaves  —  which  had  been  sworn 
in  as  special  police.  On  the  day  after  that  the  tragedy  closed  with  an  act 
which  would  have  been  farcical  but  for  the  solemnity  that  invested  the  pro- 
ceedings. In  view  of  the  expense  attending  the  keeping  of  Howard  until  the 
next  session  of  the  court  —  such  as  soldiers'  pay  and  rations  —  it  was  deter- 
mined to  hold  an  extra  session  at  once,  and,  as  the  excitement  still  prevailing 
rendered  it  almost  certain  that  there  would  be  bloodshed  if  the  trial  took  place 
in  open  court,  it  was  concluded  to  hold  a  secret  session  and  at  night;  the  win- 
dows of  the  court-room  were  darkened  to  prevent  the  emission  of  light,  and 
Howard,  with  his  face  chalked  to  disguise  him,  was  taken  from  the  jail  to  the 
court-house  by  back  streets  and  arraigned  before  Judge  E.  Darwin  Smith ;  he 
pleaded  guilty,  was  sentenced  to  state  prison  for  twenty  years  and  was  im- 
mediately put  into  a  carriage  with  jailer  Beckwith  and  two  sheriff's  officers; 
the  party  were  at  once  driven  to  Honeoye  Falls,  where  they  took  the  cars  and 
reached  Auburn  in  safety.  The  grand  jury  subsequently  censured  the  two 
military  companies  for  firing  into  the  mob,  but  that  was  all  that  ever  came  of  it. 
On  the  15th  of  January  the  funeral  of  William  A.  Reynolds  was  held  at 
Plymouth  church,  President  Anderson,  of  the  university,  delivering  the  dis- 
course ;  on  the  following  Sunday  Mr.  Bartlett,  the  pastor,  preached  a  memorial 
sermon.  In  the  early  part  of  this  year  the  frightful  epidemic  of  small-p(5x 
seemed  about  to  establish  itself  among  us ;  there  were  twenty-eight  deaths 
from  the  disease  and  many  cases  that  were  not  fatal ;  those  who  were  taken 
down  were  removed  at  once  to  Hope  hospital,  where  Dr.  Little,  who  was  then 
the  health  officer,  visited  them  every  day  during  their  confinement;  a  general 
vaccination  was  ordered  by  him ;  about  10,000  people,  including  children  in 
the  public  schools,  underwent  the  incision,  and  the  old  session-room  of  the 
First  Presbyterian  church  was  used  as  a  general  operating-room  for  all  who 
chose  to  come  to  it.  It  was  at  this  time  that  the  cerebro-spinal  meningitis  also 
broke  out  with  great  violence,  lasting  only  through  the  month  of  March,  to  a 
day,  and  it  is  a  little  singular  that  in  that  time  the  number  of  deaths  from  that 
cause  should  have  been  also  twenty-eight,  the  same  as  from  small-pox. 
Throughout  October  a  disease  that  went  by  the  general  name  of  the  "  cpizo- 
oty"  raged  with  great  mortality  among  the  horses.  Susan  B.  Anthony  and 
other  women  of  this  city  were,  on  the  26th  of  December,  held  to  answer  for 
illegal  voting  in  the  eighth  ward  at  the  previous  election.  Besides  the  death 
of  Mr.  Reynolds,  mentioned  above  —  a  sketch  of  whose  life  will  be  found  in 
another  part  of  this  work  —  there  were  those  of  O.  M.  Benedict,  a  prominent 
lawyer;  Dr.  L.  C.  Dolley,  Isaac  Post,  a  zealous  Abolitionist  in  former  years,  and 
Henry  Stanton,  Lyman  Munger  and  James  Riley,  early  pioneers  of  this  place. 


Completion  of  the  City  Building.  i6i 

In  pursuance  of  the  system  of  education  for  the  very  young,  which  had 
been  found  so  satisfactory  in  the  Old  world,  a  "real  school"  was  established 
in  the  early  part  of  1873,  being  dedicated  on  the  14th  of  February.  On  the 
28th  of  May  the  corner-stone  of  the  new  city  hall,  just  south  of  the  court- 
house, was  laid  with  imposing  ceremonies,  most  of  which  were  conducted  by 
the  Masonic  fraternity  — ^  which  turned  out  in  full  regalia  and  made  a  fine  ap- 
pearance—  and  the  ancient  forms  and  rites  of  Masonry  appropriate  to  impor- 
tant occasions  of  this  nature  were  used;  Mayor  Wilder  made  the  opening  ad- 
dress, the  prayer  was  by  Rev.  Dr.  MuUer  and  the  oration  was  delivered  by  Rev. 
Dr.  Saxe ;  various  relics,  ancient  records,  deeds,  coins  of  the  United  States, 
etc.,  were  deposited  in  the  stone.  Miss  Anthony  was  convicted,  at  Canandai- 
gua,  on  the  19th  of  June,  of  illegally  voting  in  the  previous  year  and  was  sen- 
tenced to  pay  a  fine  of  $100  for  exercising  the  assumed  right  of  female  suffrage. 
On  the  29th  of  October  the  building  of  the  Young  Men's  Catholic  association 
was  formally  opened.  Vincent  place  bridge,  which  was  begun  in  1872,  was 
completed  in  this  year;  it  is  925  feet  long  and  1 10  feet  high,  from  the  surface 
of  the  water  to  the  floor  of  the  bridge ;  the  cost  was  about  $150,000,  borne  by 
the  city  at  large,  with  the  exception  of  a  small  section  in  a  remote  corner ;  in 
1874  the  approaches  to  the  bridge  were  opened,  at  an  expense  of  $15,000,  of 
which  one- half  was  borne  by  the  city  at  large,  and  the  other  part  by  the  region 
more  directly  benefited. 

The  death  record  of  the  year  includes  the  names  of  Dr.  A.  G.  Bristol,  who 
came  here  at  an  early  day;  Robert  M.  Dalzell,  who  camp  in  1826,  was  for 
over  a  quarter  of  a  century  a  deacon  in  the  First  Presbyterian  church  and  super- 
vised the  building  of  all  the  flour  mills  that  were  erected  in  his  time ;  Thomas 
Parsons,  state  senator  in  1867-68  and  father  of  our  present  mayor ;  Gideon  W. 
Burbank,  one  of  the  early  benefactors  of  the  university  ;  Dr.  Michael  Weigel, 
a  respected  German  physician;  John  Haywood,  who  came  here  in, 18 19  and 
soon  afterward  opened  a  hat  store  on  State  street,  which  he  kept  for  more  than 
forty  years,  was  the  first  treasurer  of  the  Rochester  savings, bank  and  was  often 
a  member  of  the  city  council ;  Colonel  Aaron  Newton,  who  came  in  1 8 1 7,  kept 
a  tavern  for  many  years,  beginning  in  18 18,  on  the  spot  where  the  Blossom 
Hotel  and  the  Osburn  House  afterward  stood,  and  was  one  of  the  chief  pro 
motcrs  of  the  Old  Pioneer  society;  Ebenezer  Watts,  aged  ninety-two,  also  a 
settler  of  18 17,  who  for  many  years  had  a  hardware  store  on  Buffalo  street 
near  Exchange  street,  and  John  McConviU,  member  of  Assembly  in  1864  and 
1865. 

In  January,  1874,  the  city  building  on  Front  street  was  completed,  at  a  cost 
of  something  over  $50,000,  including  plumbing  and  gas-fitting ;  the  police  court- 
room and  head-quarters  were  located  there  at  first,  but  were  removed  to  the  city 
hall  on  the  completion  of  that  edifice  ;  the  Front  street  concern  has,  since  then, 
been  devoted  to  fire  matters,  the  office  of  overseer  of  the  poor,  and  other  city  in- 


1 62  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

terests.  The  water-works  went  into  successful  operation  in  tliis  month ;  a  grand 
public  test  was  made  on  February  i8th,  as  fully  described  in  the  chapter  devoted 
to  that  subject.  On  the  22d  a  boy  of  thirteen,  while  crazed  with  liquor,  threw 
himself  into  the  river  and  was  carried  over  the  falls;  perhaps  it  was  that  which 
caused  a  revival  of  the  temperance  movement,  mass  meetings  being  held  at 
Corinthian  hall  during  the  next  two  months,  addressed  by  Dr.  Anderson,  Dr. 
Saxe  and  others;  the  Ladies'  Temperance  union  petitioned  the  excise  commis- 
sioners in  vain  to  grant  no  more  licenses ;  the  police  commissioners  ordered 
the  closing  of  all  saloons  on  Sunday ;  the  lager  beer  saloons  kept  open,  but 
most  of  the  others  closed  their  front  doors.  In  March  a  letter  was  received  by 
the  commissioners  of  Mount  Hope,  from  the  sheriff  of  Lincoln  county,  Ontario, 
saying  that  some  of  the  records  of  our  cemetery  and  of  our  city  treasurer's 
office  had  been  found  at  St.  Catherine's ;  messengers  were  dispatched  for  them 
and  obtained  them;  they  were  found  to  be  the  cemetery  records  for  eleven 
years,  from  1846  to  1857,  and  the  accounts  of  the  sinking  fund  for  most  of  the 
same  tinie ;  they  had  been  in  the  custody  of  John  B.  Robertson  at  the  time  of 
the  burning  of  the  Eagle  bank  block  in  1857,  he  being  the  comptroller  and  hav- 
ing charge  of  those  funds ;  he  had  then  alleged  that  they  were  burned,  but  he 
had  taken  them  off  to  cover  a  defalcation  of  nearly  $40,000;  a  vast  amount  of 
confusion  as  to  Mount  Hope  lots  had  been  caused  by  the  deportation.  The 
sportsmen's  national  convention  was  held  here  in  September.  In  this  year 
Prof.  Swift  began  to  develop  his  skil)  in  the  discovery  of  comets  ;  there  were 
an  unusual  number  of  suicides,  two  of  which  were  by  jumping  from  Clarissa 
street  bridge;  three  corner-stones  were  laid  —  those  of  St.  John's  German  Lu- 
theran and  the  First  German  Methodist  churches  and  of  St.  Joseph's  orphan 
asylum  —  and  there  were  three  dedications  —  those  of  the  Free  Academy  and 
the  Salem  Evangelical  and  St.  Michael's  (Catholic)  churches. 

Record  may  be  made  of  the  deaths,  in  this  year,  of  Sam  Drake,  a  well 
known  old  fisherman,  a  very  oracle  on  all  things  pertaining  to  the  sport  of  an- 
gling, who  worked  here  at  his  trade  of  book-binding  as  far  back  as  1826,  in  the 
same  shop  with  Washington  Hunt,  afterward  governor  ;  of  John  M.  F"rench,  a 
prominent  iron-founder,  who  held  various  offices  and  was  more  than  once  the 
candidate  of  his  party  for  mayor;  of  Pliny  M.  Bromley,  very  popular  in  early 
days  as  a  canal  boat  captain  and  in  later  years  as  the  landlord  of  the  Osburn 
House  ;  of  Isaac  Butts,  a  veteran  journalist  of  twenty  years'  experience  as  ed- 
itor of  the  Advertiser  and  then  of  the  Union,  in  which  he  acquired  a  great  repu- 
tation, though,  having  amassed  a  fortune  by  investments,  he  left  the  profession 
about  ten  years  before  his  death  ;  and  of  Thomas  H.  Rochester,  son  of  him  for 
whom  the  city  was  named;  he  came  here  in  1820,  built  the  old  Red  mill  in 
connection  with  his  brother-in-law,  Harvey  Montgomery  ;  superintended  the 
construction  of  the  Tonawanda  railroad  in  1834,  was  first  cashier  of  the  Com- 
mercial bank,  and  mayor  of  the  city  in  1839;  lie  was  throughout  his  life  one  of 
the  most  highly  esteemed  citizens  of  Rochester. 


Events  of  1878.  163 


The  city  hall,  then  recently  completed,  was  opened  to  the  public  on  the 
evening  of  January  4th,  1875,  by  a  musical  entertainment  (given  by  home  tal- 
ent) in  aid  of  the  sufferers  by  famine  in  the  West  —  an  auspicious  opening,  as 
dedicating  the  edifice  to  fraternity  and  human  sympathy.  The  building  cost 
$337,000,  and  was  erected  under  the  auspices  of  a  commission  appointed  for 
the  purpose,  consisting,  at  first,  of  George  J.  Whitney,  Daniel  W.  Powers, 
Charles  J.  Hayden,  George  C.  Buell  and  Jacob  Howe,  of  whom  Mr.  Whitney 
resigned,  and  Lysander  Farrar  was, appointed  in  his  place.  As  a  purely  mili- 
tary display,  the  turnout  at  the  funeral  of  General  Williams,  on  the  29th  of 
March,  was  probably  the  finest  ever  seen  in  Rochester ;  after  that  part  of  the 
procession  went  the  hearse,  with  the  saddle-horse  of  the  general,  and  then  fol- 
lowed the  civic  escort,  with  all  the  ex-mayors  then  living,  and  the  different 
officers  of  the  city  government.  During  this  year  the  people  were  much  dis- 
turbed about  the  canal  frauds,  and  the  impending  trials  of  contractors ;  a  mass 
meeting  was  held  on  the  9th  of  April,  Judge  Warner  presiding,  to  strike  hands 
with  Governor  Tilden  in  pushing  on  the  cases  to  final  punishment.  The  Lady 
Washington  tea-party,  through  two  evenings  in  April,  at  the  city  hall,  for  the 
benefit  of  the  City  hospital,  was  so  attractive  as  to  bring  $2,000  to  that  insti- 
tution. By  a  gale  of  wind,  on  the  night  of  April  29th,  the  Leighton  bridge 
works  at  East  Rochester  were  blown  to  the  ground,  and  great  injury  was  done 
to  persons  and  property  in  the  city.  Several  burglaries  were  committed  in  the 
early  part  of  the  summer,  and  in  one  case,  where  the  house  was  not  broken 
into,  the  thief  climbed  a  tree,  and  with  a  fishing-pole,  line  and  hook,  caught  a 
watch  from  the  bedside  of  a  sleeping  man.  The  robberies  were  finally  traced 
to  one  probable  culprit,  and  on  the  3d  of  July  an  officer  undertook  to  arrest 
him ;  he  shot  the  policeman,  but  not  fatally,  and  ran  till  he  was  stopped  by 
John  Trevor,  a  bank  watchman,  whom  he  shot  with  another  pistol ;  but  Trevor, 
though  so  badly  hurt  that  he  died  of  the  wound  two  days  later,  had  held  on 
to  the  murderer  till  others  secured  him ;  it  was  John  Clark,  a  desperado 
who  had  committed  numerous  crimes,  and  probably  many  murders  else- 
where. He  was  tried  in  September,  and  sentenced  to  hang  on  November 
5  th;  his  counsel,  William  F,  Howe,  of  New  York,  made  desperate  efforts  for 
a  new  trial,  going  before  six  Supreme  court  judges  in  different  parts  of  the  state, 
with  a  motion  for  a  stay  of  proceedings  and  a  writ  of  error,  but  in  vain ;  after 
a  reprieve  of  two  weeks  Clark  was  hanged  on  the  19th  of  November.  In  this 
.  year  the  board  of  education  passed  a  resolution  prohibiting  religious  exercises 
in  the  public  schools ;  all  the  city  clergy  preached  on  the  subject ;  about 
equally  divided  in  opinion.  On  the  17th  of  September  the  first  fast  mail  train, 
from  New  York  to  Chicago,  passed  through.  A  freight  train,  on  the  night  of 
October  7th,  ran  off  the  track  and  dashed  into  the  Central  depot  at  the  rate  of 
fifty  miles  an  hour,  knocking  down  one  of  the  piers  and  demolishing  the  wait- 
ing-room ;    the  engine  then  fell  over,  and   the  fire  went  out;    the. engineer, 


164  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

William  J.  Vianco,  and  the  fireman,  Andrew  G.  Northrop,  his  son-in-law,  were 
instantly  killed,  their  bodies  being  found  under  the  wreck. 

The  obituary  list  of  the  year  is  a  long  one,  containing  the  names  of  Elias 
Pond,  who  was  collector  of  the  port  under  President  Taylor,  elected  sheriff  in 
1834,  and  member  of  Assembly  in  1859  and  i860,  and  actively  connected  in 
old-time  politics  with  Thurlow  Weed  and  Governor  Seward  ;  Daniel  E.  Harris, 
for  a  long  time  the  efficient  assistant  superintendent  of  Mount  Hope ;  William 
Brewster,  who  came  here  in  18 16,  well  known  to  all  the  older  inhabitants; 
Rufus  Keeler,  who  was  mayor  in  1857;  George  W.  Parsons,  a  respected  citi- 
zen, for  many  years  superintendent  of  the  gas  works ;  Edward  S.  Boughton,  an 
old  pioneer;  John  Williams,  who  came  here  in  1824,  was  mayor  in  1853, 
elected  to  Congress  in  1854,  chosen  city  treasurer  for  three  consecutive  terms, 
prominently  connected  with  military  affairs  for  most  of  his  life,  being,  when 
he  died,  major-general  of  the  seventh  division  of  the  national  guard,  succeeding 
the  late  James  S.  Wadsworth  ;  Father  Patricio  Byrnes,  pastor  of  the  Immacu- 
late Conception  church  ;  Charles  L.  Pardee,  formerly  sheriff;  David  R.  Barton, 
who  acquired  a  national  reputation  as  a  maker  of  edge  tools ;  Dr.  H.  B.  Hack- 
ett,  of  the  theological  seminary,  one  of  the  foremost  Hebrew  scholars  of  the 
country ;  A.  Carter  Wilder,  mayor  of  the  city  in  1872,  after  having  been  mem- 
ber of  Congress  from  Kansas;  Dr.  Hartwell  Carver,  who  always  claimed  to  be 
the  originator  of  the  Pacific  railroad,  and  William  H.  Hanford,  who,  in  18 10, 
settled  at  Hanford's  Landing  with  his  relative,  Frederick,  from  whom  it  was 
named. 

An  unearthly  din  at  the  hour  of  twelve  ushered  in  the  centennial  of  1876, 
"vexing  the  drowsy  ear  of  night"  with  the  combination  of  all  imaginable  arti- 
ficial noises;  the  bells  rang,  cannon  roared,  torpedoes  exploded,  fish  horns 
resounded,  all  the  engines  of  the  New  York  Central  which  could  be  brought 
together  for  the  purpose  screamed  their  loudest,  the  steam  fire  engines  rattled 
down  to  the  "four  corners"  on  the  fastest  gallop  of  their  horses,  and  every 
small  boy  who  had  been  allowed  to  stay  out  of  the  house  did  his  best  to  swell 
the  tumult  of  discordant  sounds.  That  ended  the  celebration  of  the  historic 
year  until  the  Fourth  of  July,  which  was  observed  in  a  manner  unusually  hila- 
rious, but  otherwise  not  remarkable,  except  that  the  Germans  planted  a  Cen- 
tennial oak  sapling,  with  much  ceremony,  in  Franklin  square.  At  least  three 
deliberate  murders  were  committed  here  during  the  year  —  those  of  Louis  Gom- 
menginger,  a  policeman,  by  Fairbanks ;  of  Joseph  Fryer,  a  Whitcomb  Hotel 
porter,  by  Stillman,  and  of  Catherine  Boorman,  near  Hanford's  Landing,  by 
Victor  Smith,  but  all  the  murderers  escaped  the  gallows,  the  first  two  getting 
life  imprisonment  because  they  had  prepared  themselves  for  their  work  by  be- 
coming crazed  with  drink,  and  the  third  one  pleading  guilty  by  shooting  him- 
self and  dying  in  jail  a  few  days  later.  Of  the  deaths  during  the  year  were 
those  of  Samuel  Hamilton,  a  retired  merchant  of  former  days ;   Horatio  G.  War- 


Republican  State  Convention  of  1877.  165 

ncr,  successively  lawyer,  journalist  and  banker;  Samuel  L.  Selden,  whose  high 
judicial  career  is  sketched  in  another  chapter;  William  F.  Holmes,  closely 
identified  with  the  canal  interests,  and  whose  services  during  the  cholera  of  1852 
have  already  been  mentioned ;  Dr.  Douglas  Bly,  of  reputation  as  an  inventor 
of  improvements  in  artificial  limbs ;  Dr.  H.  C.  Wanzer,  well  known  in  the  ranks 
of  dentistry ;  Abram  Karnes,  a  veteran  banker,  and  Lysander  Farrar,  an  emi- 
nent counselor. 

The  first  part  of  1877  passed  away  quietly  enough,  but  in  July  the  railroad 
strikes,  which  were  the  outcome  of  the  labor  riots  of  the  previous  month,  broke 
out  on  the  Erie  road ;  the  Fifty-fourth  regiment  was  ordered  to  Hornellsville 
on  that  account;  on  the  22d  the  strike  extended  to  the  New  York  Central  and 
Lake  Shore  roads  and  the  next  day  was  in  full  blast,  so  that  there  was  a  com- 
plete stoppage  of  traffic  on  the  Buffalo  division  of  the  Central ;  great  excite- 
ment and  alarm  here,  but  no  rioting  or  destruction  of  railroad  property  as  else- 
where ;  two  days  later  the  engineers  and  firemen  went  back  to  their  work,  and 
subsequently  some  of  the  most  flagrant  abuses  which  the  insatiable  greed  of  the 
Erie  and  the  Central  had  inflicted  on  their  employees  were  partially  corrected. 
In  the  course  of  the  summer  the  Rochester  Yacht  club,  which  had  been  organ- 
ised in  the  spring,  built  a  club-house  at  Summerville,  and  had  a  regatta  on  the 
lake.  The  Republican  state  convention  was  held  in  the  city  hall  on  the  26th 
of  September ;  Senator  Conkling,  then  at  the  height  of  his  power,  made  a  bitter 
personal  attack  on  George  William  Curtis.  On  account  of  the  starting  of  an 
idle  rumor  that  the  Rochester  savings  bank  was  unsound,  there  was  quite  a  run 
on  that  institution  during  the  last  three  days  of  the  year,  but  it  was  checked  by 
the  prompt  action  of  the  bank  in  paying  all  depositors  and  by  the  display  of 
more  than  a  million  dollars  in  greenbacks,  which  were  piled  on  a  hanging  shelf 
over  the  principal  counter ;  the  strength  of  the  bank  was  not  injured  in  the  least, 
the  only  sufferers  being  those  who  by  that  means  lost  their  interest  for  a  month  ; 
over  half  a  million  dollars  were  drawn  out  in  five  days,  $266,546.82  being  paid 
out  on  the  29th  of  December ;  other  savings  banks  were  similarly  treated,  but  in 
a  less  degree.  During  the  year  there  died  here  Rev.  Dr.  R.  J.  W.  Buckland  and 
Rev.  S.  Emmons  Brown,  both  professors  in  the  theological  seminary ;  Samuel 
Chase,  one  of  the  oldest  inhabitants,  at  the  age  of  ninety-three ;  Mrs.  Mary 
Anderson,  one  of  the  first  seven  communicants  of  St.  Luke's  church  in  1817  ; 
Augustin  Picord,  aged  one  hundred  and  nine  years,  born  under  Louis  XV., 
and  a  middle-aged  soldier  in  Napoleon's  "grand  army;"  Harvey  Humphrey, 
formerly  county  judge  and  a  man  of  great  classical  learning;  Gen.  William  E. 
Lathrop,  very  prominent  as  a  Mason ;  ex-Mayor  John  B.  Elwood,  of  whom 
more  will  be  said  in  the  chapter  on  the  medical  practitioners ;  Col.  C.  T.  Ams- 
den,  formerly  city  treasurer;  George  W.  Rawson,  a  justice  of  the  Supreme 
court,  and  Rev.  J.  V.  Van  Ingen,  a  highly  respected  clergyman  of  the  Episco- 
pal denomination, 


1 66  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Railroad  enterprise  signalised  the  opening  of  1878,  for  on  the  28th  of 
January  the  last  rail  was  laid  on  the  State  Line  road  (now  the  Rochester  &  Pitts- 
burg) from  here  to  Salamanca,  connecting,  by  this  means,  the  Erie  with  the 
Atlantic  &  Great  Western,  besides  opening  up  to  this  city  a  fertile  and  popu- 
lous section  of  the  country,  inaccessible  to  us  by  direct  communication  before 
then;  great  celebration  at  Salamanca  that  day,  but  a  larger  one,  with  immense 
excursion  from  here,  on  the  isth  of  the  following  May,  after  the  road  had 
been  ballasted.  In  consequence  of  the  burning  of  a  block  on  Exchange  street, 
near  the  canal,  on  the  Sth  of  April,  by  which  one  man  was  burned  to  death, 
the  wall  of  an  adjacent  building  just  north  fell,  on  the  14th  of  June,  three  floors 
crashing  down  into  the  cellar  and  pulling  with  them  a  great  part  of  another 
block  still  further  north;  Colonel  M.  H.  Smith,  proprietor  of  a  printing-office,  was 
caught  in  the  ruins,  carried- down  into  the  cellar  and  fastened  there  with  a  hot 
kettle  across  his  chest  and  debris  piled  above;  he  was  rescued  with  great  diffi- 
culty, terribly  burned  and  otherwise  injured,  but  finally  recovered,  with  the 
loss  of  the  right  arm.  In  bright  daylight  at  some  time  before  noon,  on  the 
1 2th  of  October,  twenty-four  prisoners  in  the  jail,  most  of  whom  were  burglars, 
escaped  by  breaking  a  hole  through  the  cell  of  one  of  them  into  the  dungeon 
and  thence  into  the  yard;  eight  were  recaptured  the  next  day,  and  most  of 
the  others  aftei'ward;  it  was  thought  that  they  took  much  needless  trouble  in 
getting  out  of  so  rickety  a  place.  Burglary  became  quite  popular  in  Novem- 
ber, a  number  of  houses  in  the  third  ward  being  entered.  Among  those  who 
passed  away  during  the  year  were  Dr.  H.  W.  Dean,  an  eminent  physician  ; 
Rev.  John  Barker,  an  old  Methodist  clergyman ;  E.  N.  Buell,  formerly  city 
treasurer  and  held  in  general  esteem;  Charles  P.  Achilles,  much  beloved  by  his 
associates,  county  treasurer  for  one  term;  the  venerable  Abelard  Reynolds,  and 
George  J.  Whitney,  sketches  of  the  last  two  of  whom  will  be  found  elsewhere. 

A  terrible  snow-storm,  which  during  the  last  week  of  the  previous  year  had 
blocked  the  railroads  in  the  vicinity  and  caused  more  than  one  fatal  accident, 
was  renewed  on  the  2d  of  January,  1879,  and  produced  disastrous  results  for 
several  days;  the  drifts  were  thirty  feet  high  in  the  country;  on  the  5th  no 
train  could  get  into  or  out  of  the  city;  many  were  frozen  to  death  in  snow- 
drifts in  adjacent  villages ;  trains  ran  off  the  track  near  here,  a  number  of  em- 
ployees being  killed;  the  blockade  was  not  finally  broken  till  the  loth;  the 
executive  board  of  the  city  paid  $1,300  for  shoveHng  and  carting  away  the 
snow  during  the  week.  The  national  association  of  stove-makers  held  its  an- 
nual meeting  here  in  January.  For  three  days  in  July  the  Mannerchor  cele- 
brated the  twenty-fifth  anniversary  of  the  society.  During  the  year  the  El- 
wood  block,  on  the  corner  of  State  and  West  Main  streets,  was  erected,  and 
the  Allen  street  lift  bridge,  over  the  canal,  begun  in  1878,  was  completed,  at  a 
cost  of  about  $7,000;  some  $6,000  was  subsequently  spent  on  it.  Dr.  Jonah 
Brown,  who  came   here  in    18 13,  was   the  first  physician  in  the  place  and  the 


Events  of  1880.  167 


grantee  named  in  the  first  deed  given  for  real  estate  paid  for  in  the  One-hun- 
dred-acre tract  (the  lot  on  Exchange  street  where  the  Bank  of  Monroe  now 
stands),  died  in  this  year;  also,  Joseph  Field,  an  old  resident,  one  of  the  orig- 
inators of  the  City  bank  and  for  many  years  its  president,  one  of  the  most  act- 
ive promoters  of  railroads  in  early  days,  being  for  some  time  president  of  the 
Buffalo  &  Rochester  road,  and  mayor  of  the  city  in  1848;  Dr.  W.  W.  Ely, 
whose  abilities  as  a  physician  were  supplemented  by  unusual  literary  culture; 
Ezra  Jones,  whose  experience  as  an  iron  founder  went  back  for  a  generation 
and  his  previous  experience  as  a  boat-builder  far  back  into  the  village  days, 
and  Colonel  A.  T.  Lee,  a  veteran  officer  of  the  United  States  army. 

Charles  Stewart  Parnell,  the  Irish  patriot  and  agitator,  made  a  tour  through 
the  middle  and  western  states  in  January,  1880,  and  was  received  here  by  his 
fellow-countrymen. on  the  26th  of  the  month;  he  spoke  at  the  city  hall  to  a  crowd 
that  filled  the  room  and  showed  great  enthusiasm.  On  the  6th  of  March  the 
legal  profession  furnished  a  criminal  case  out  of  its  own  ranks;  Robert  Jarrard, 
a  young  lawyer,  while  frantic  with  drink,  shot  just  over  the  heart,  intending  to 
kill  him,  Wallace  Rice,  an  inoffensive  man,  with  whom  he  had  a  slight  alterca- 
tion; Jarrard,  being  released  on  bail,  hung  himself  in  his  own  house  three  days 
later;  Rice  finally  got  well  —  in  other  words,  "the  man  recovered  from  his 
bite."  This,  being  a  presidential  year,  was  equal  to  any  of  its  predecessors  of 
that  character  in  the  displays  and  street  parades  that  were  given  by  both  of  the 
great  parties,  if  not  in  the  intense  earnestness  that  was  felt  over  the  election 
contests  during  the  war.  The  grandest  show  of  the  Republicans  was  on  the 
27th  of  October,  both  day  and  night.  General  Grant  and  others  from  abroad 
joining  in  the  turnout  of  the  afternoon;  the  Democrats  had  theirs  the  next  day 
and  evening,  General  McClellan  appearing  in  the  line  of  the  afternoon  parade ; 
the  whole  country  and  many  towns  outside  of  it  sent  recruits  for  the  different 
processions,  and  the  evening  spectacle  in  each  case  was  a  very  fine  one,  the 
number  of  men  in  line  on  each  night  being  something  over  seven  thousand. 
Several  of  the  old  pioneers  died  during  the  year —  among  them,  Abner  Wake- 
lec,  Lyman  B.  Langworthy,  Johnson  I.'  Robins  and  Edwin  Scrantom,  the 
residence  of  the  last  dating  from  the  very  birth  of  Rochester,  as  has  been  told 
in  an  earlier  chapter  of  this  work  —  while  of  those  whose  residence  dated  back 
to  very  early  times  were  P.  M.  Crandall,  Aaron  Erickson  (an  outline  of  whose 
life  is  given  elsewhere),  William  Kidd,  who  by  industry  and  integrity  acquired 
a  large  fortune  and  was  for  several  years  the  treasurer  of  the  county;  Elijah 
F.  Smith,  who  had  been  mayor  in  1841  (being  the  first  one  elected  by  the 
people)  and  had  held  various  offices  of  public  responsibility;  Edmund  Lyon, 
Dr.  J.  F.  Whitbeck  and  John  Widner,  the  last-named  dying  at  the  age  of  a 
century. 

Some  railroad  matters  were  settled  up  in  the  early  part  of  188 1,  the  State 
Line  road,  which  for  a  long  time  had  been  the  source  of  great  anxiety  to  its 


1 68  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

friends  and  creditors,  being  sold  at  auction,  on  the  court-house  steps,  on  the 
8th  of  January,  to  the  highest  bidder,  who  was  Walston  H.  Brown,  of  New 
York,  who  paid  $600,000  for  it,  reorganised  it  and  changed  it  into  the  Roches- 
ter &  Pittsburg ;  later  in  the  same  month  the  contract  for  the  elevation  of  the 
Central  railroad  tracks  was  signed  by  the  citizens'  commission  and  William  H. 
Vanderbilt.  Copies  of  the  revised  New  Testament  were  first  sold  here  on  the 
2istofMay;  1,500  were  bought  by  individuals  on  that  day.  Maud  S.,  the 
famous  trotter,  lowered,  on  the  nth  of  August,  her  own  record  and  trotted  a 
mile  in  2:10^,  the  fastest  time  ever  made  up  to  that  hour.  On  the  3d  of  July 
prayers  were  offered  up  in  all  the  churches  for  the  recovery  of  President  Gar- 
field, who  had  been  shot  the  day  before;  the  people  waited  in  suspense  from 
that  time  till  the  night  of  September  19th,  when  the  simultaneous  tolling  of  city 
bells  announced  his  death;  the  mock  funeral  here,  at  the  time  of  his  obsequies 
on  the  26th,  was  most  impressive  ;  the  procession  was  by  far  the  longest  ever 
seen  here  up  to  that  time,  as  well  it  may  have  been,  for  it  embraced  a  large 
proportion  of  those  who  less  than  a  year  before  had  made  up  the  numbers  of 
the  two  monster  parades  that  were  given  in  rivalry  over  the  approaching  elec- 
tion of  the  man  whom  now  they  mourned  with  a  common  sorrow. 

In  the  obituary  record  of  our  citizens  may  be  placed  the  names  of  James  C. 
Cochrane,  an  eminent  lawyer ;  William  Stebbins  and  David  Moody,  among  the 
pioneers;  George  D.  Stillson,  who,  after  having  been  engaged  in  locating  the 
Tonawanda  railroad,  and  other  roads  in  this  vicinity  of  half  a  century  ago,  had 
been  so  long  the  superintendent  of  Mount  Hope  cemetery  as  to  seem  almost  in- 
separably connected  with  it ;  Samuel  D.  Porter,  who,  during  more  than  the  life- 
time of  the  city,  had  been  actively  engaged  in  promoting  works  of  benevolence 
and  reform,  and  was  for  many  years  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  anti -slavery  cause 
in  this  section  of  the  state  (whftse  oldest  son  died  the  day  after  his  father,  so 
that  the  two  were  borne  from  the  house  together) ;  Levi  A.  Ward,  who  came 
here  when  a  child,  with  his  father,  in  1 8 17,  grew  up  with  the  place,  and  was 
for  more  than  a  generation  in  the  front  ranks  of  citizenship,  mayor  in  1 849, 
first  president  of  the  board  of  education,  and  connected  with  many  institutions 
of  benevolence;  Isaac  Hills,  a  prominent  resident,  who,  after  teaching  school 
in  Lenox  academy,  Massachusetts,  where  Mark  Hopkins  and  David  Dudley 
Field  were  among  his  pupils,  came  here  in  1824  to  practise  law,  was  district- 
attorney,  first  recorder  of  the  city,  mayor  in  1843,  and  the  incumbent  of  numer- 
ous other  offices ;  William  Burke,  the  oldest  hardware  merchant  in  the  city  at 
the  time  of  his  death  ;  John  H.  Martindale,  brigadier-general  in  the  war  of  the 
rebellion,  and  afterward  attorney- general  of  the  state ;  Mrs.  Jehiel  Barnard 
(daughter  of  Hamlet  Scrantom),  who  came  here  in  1812,  and  whose  wedding, 
in  18 1 5,  was  the  first  one  in  Rochester,  and,  lastly,  Lewis  H.  Morgan,  whose 
scholarship  reflected  distinction  upon  the  city  of  his  abode.  He  was  born  near 
Aurora,  in  this  state,  in  1 8 1 8 ;  came  to  Rochester  soon  after  his  graduation  at 


'^C-Ooi.-^     yv-   Cy^^ 


'^.C/t-^^Clyl— 


Lewis  H.  Morgan.  169, 


Union  college  in  1840,  and  began  the  practice  of  law,  which  he  continued  with 
great  success  for  several  years,  when  he  finally  abandoned  it  to  engage  exclu- 
sively ill  literary  pursuits.  In  early  life  he  had  become  interested  in  the  habits 
and  customs  of  the  Indians  formerly  dwelling  in  the  state,  and  his  researches 
in  this  direction  caused  the  production  by  him,  in  1851,  of  The  League  of  the 
Iroquois,  in  which  he  thoroughly  explained  the  organisation  and  government 
of  that  wonderful  confederacy  of  the  Six  Nations,  whose  constitution,  the  form- 
ation of  which  is  assigned  by  tradition  to  Hiawatha,  was  in  part  the  basis  upon 
which  that  of  the  United  States  was  reared.  This  book,  instead  of  closing  Mr. 
Morgan's  labors  in  that  line  of  study,  only  opened  the  field  for  wider  investiga- 
tion, and  he  entered  upon  his  life-work,  which  was  twofold  —  first,  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  mutual  relationship  of  the  human  race  by  tracing  the  similarity 
of  social  customs,  a  generalisation  which  took  years  of  labor,  and  found  its 
outcome  in  his  Systems  of  Consanguinity  of  the  Human  Family,  a  ponderous 
quarto  of  600  pages,  published  by  the  Smithsonian  institution,  which  contains 
the  systems  of  kinship  of  more  than  four-fifths  of  the  world  —  second,  and  in 
part  the  outgrowth  of  the  first,  the  proof  of  his  theory  that  \hz  gens,  instead  of 
the  family,  was  the  social  unit  of  the  race  —  a  proposition  which  was  wholly 
original  with  the  author,  and  was  of  course  violently  combated  by  English 
writers,  but  accepted  by  many,  even  in  Great  Britain,  and  which  he  fully  de- 
veloped in  his  Ancient  Society,  by  far  the  greatest  of  all  his  works,  and  the  one 
upon  which  his  future  renown  will  rest.  Houses  and  House- Life  of  the  Ameri- 
can Aborigines  was  his  last  production,  giving  the  results  of  his  latest  inquiries 
into  the  habits  of  the  western  Indians  and  the  Aztec  tribes.  Besides  these  vol- 
umes was  his  work  on  the  American  beaver,  published  in  1868,  which,  though 
really  outside  of  the  range  of  his  special  studies,  was  received  by  foreign  scholars 
with  the  highest  admiration,  was  translated  into  various  languages,  and  gained 
for  its  writer  the  honorary  membership  of  several  of  the  most  famous  scientific 
societies.  Mr.  Morgan  was  elected  member  of  the  Assembly  in  1861  and 
member  of  the  upper  house  of  the  legislature  in  1875,  but  these  honors  were 
inconsequential,  and  were  nothing  to  him  in  comparison  with  the  presidency  of 
the  American  association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science,  which  was  conferred 
upon  him  in  1879.  He  was  the  most  distinguished  ethnologist  that  this  coun- 
try ever  produced,  and  the  foremost  in  the  world  at  the  time  of  his  death. 

Small-i^ox  was  agaiii  the  enemy  to  fight  against  in  the  early  part  of  1882, 
the  aiann  having  been  given  in  the  autumn  of  the  previous  year  and  the  work 
of  vaccination  then  entered  upon  ;  it  was  carried  out  with  far  greater  thorough- 
ness than  ever  before,  the  board  of  health,  with  Dr.  Buckley  as  health  officer, 
using  the  most  stringent  measures  and  being  sustained  by  the  municipal  author- 
ities ;  several  young  physicians  were  appointed  to  do  the  work,  and  not  only 
every  school  but  every  manufacturing  establishment  had  to  submit  to  visitation 
and  operation  upon  all  who  could  not  show  themselves  proof  against  the  infec- 


170  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

tion ;  in  this  way  between  20,000  and  30,000  were  vaccinated,  and  the  appear- 
ance of  the  scourge  was  effectually  prevented.  Strikes  were  extensively  inaug- 
urated at  this  time,  and  in  some  instances  carried  on  with  disastrous  results. 
After  there  had  been  some  trouble  of  that  kind  in  one  or  two  of  the  shoe  shops 
the  employees  of  the  Cunningham  carriage  factory  determined  to  redress  in  that 
manner  some  things  of  which  they  had  complained  in  vain ;  of  450  workmen, 
400  went  out  on  the  28th  of  January,  the  others  remaining  and  being  reinforced 
by  nearly  a  hundred  of  newly  employed  non-union  men  ;  all  through  February 
the  conduct  of  the  strikers  was  faultless,  but  on  the  1st  of  March,  their  patience 
and  their  means  being  nearly  exhausted,  they  resorted  to  violence  to  obtain 
their  ends  and  attacked  the  non-union  men  in  the  street  as  they  were  returning 
from  their  work ;  the  next  day  there  were  more  wicked  assaults  and  some 
bloodshed,  though  no  one  was  killed ;  this,  of  course,  could  not  be  allowed  to 
go  on,  so  the  sheriff  interfered  and  peace  was  preserved  for  the  next  two  days, 
after  which,  by  the  intervention  of  the  mayor,  a  compromise  was  effected  and 
the  men  returned  to  work,  abandoning  the  scheme  for  a  cooperative  carriage- 
making  company,  with  a  capital  of  $250,000,  which  had  been  almost  matured 
during  the  strike.  As  a  counterpart  to  the  trades  union,  most  of  the  em- 
ployers in  the  city  formed,,  in  May,  a  protective  union,  by  which  each  one 
bound  himself  not  to  employ  men  who  have  struck  in  other  establishments  and 
to  join  in  resisting  any  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  trades  union  to  coerce  any  (jf 
the  associated  manufacturers.  In  March,  on  account  of  the  large  amount  of 
money  lying  idle  in  the  savings  banks,  by  reason  of  the  New  York  insurance 
and  other  companies  having  loaned  money  in  Monroe  county  below  the  legal 
rate  of  six  per  cent.,  the  savings  banks  here  agreed  to  loan  at  five  per  cent, 
on  sums  of  $5,000  or  upward.  The  summer  months  brought  with  them  some 
mild  excitements,  beginning  with  one,  in  June,  of  a  rather  serious  nature,  in 
the  shape  of  a  funereal  exhibition  by  the  national  association  of  undertakers  or 
funeral  directors,  the  first  of  the  kind  in  the  United  States  and  quite  a  fine  affair; 
then  followed,  in  the  same  month,  the  first  general  parade  of  workingmen 
ever  seen  in  this  city,  in  which  over  6,000  "Knights  of  Labor"  were  in  line, 
their  idea  being  to  express  abhorrence  of  the  new  penal  code.  In  July  a 
disease  called  the  "pink-eye"  made  havoc  with  the  horses,  thirty-six  of  the  ani- 
mals connected  with  the  street  cars  being  attacked  in  a  single  day ;  few  deaths 
occurred  from  that  cause.  In  August  there  was  a  great  firemen's  convention, 
as  described  in  another  chapter.  The  Osburn  House,  after  being  one  of  the 
leading  hotels  in  the  state  for  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  century,  closed  its  doors  in 
September  and  was  turned  into  a  business  block.  The  lift  bridge  at  Brown 
street  was  built  during  the  year,  at  a  cost  of  about  $1 1,000.  On  the  21st  of 
December  those  standing  in  front  of  the  old  City  bank  saw  a  sign  attached  to 
the  door,  with  these  words :  "This  bank  has  suspended  ;  "  much  distress  was  pro- 
duced by  the  failure,  which  was  caused  by  speculation  in  oil ;  the  capital  stock 
was  $200,000,  a  total  loss  to  the  holders ;  the  loss  to  depositors  was  very  great. 


First  Chinese  Voter  in  Rochester.  171 

Death  made  many  inroads  into  the  ranks  of  our  older  citizens  durjng  the 
year,  carrying  off  Hamlet  D.  Scrantom,  who  came  here,  at  the  age  of  six,  in 
1 8 12,  was  elected  mayor  in  i860,  and  after  leaving  office  took  a  lease  of  Con- 
gress Hall,  and  acquired  a  high  reputation  as  a  typical  landlord ;  David  Bell, 
who  came  here  in  1822,  was  one  of  the  first  Quakers  of  the  place,  and  always 
active  in  charity ;  Joseph  Medbery,  who  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  here,  at 
one  time  president  of  the  village  and  prominent  in  its  militia,  in  which  he  held 
the  rank  of  major;  Benjamin  Fish,  Nathan  Huntington  and  Mrs.  Mary  West- 
bury  (at  the  age  of  one  hundred),  who  were  among  the  pioneers;  James  Vick, 
whose  fame  as  a  nurseryman  and  cultivator  of  flowers  was  almost  world-wide, 
but  who  had  been  also  a  printer,  an  editor,  an  author,  a  publisher,  a  farmer, 
a  botanist,  a  merchant,  and  all  his  life  a  student ;  Colonel  Charles  J.  Powers, 
whose  good  service  in  the  field  gained  for  him  the  brevet  of  brigadier-general, 
and  who  was  elected  county,  clerk  in  1867;  Patrick  H.  Sullivan,  another  brave 
soldier,  who  was  chief  engineer  of  the  fire  department  in  1864;  Charles  H. 
Chapin,  a  prominent  banker ;  Francis  Gorton,  who,  after  a  successful  business 
career  as  a  merchant,  became  president  of  the  Flour  City  bank,  and  continued 
such  till  his  death,  twenty- six  years  later,  and  E.  Peshine  Smith,  a  noted  pub- 
licist, whose  work  on  political  economy  is  a  standard  text-book  in  several 
American  colleges,  and  who,  many  years  ago,  was  professor  of  mathematics  in 
our  university,  then  deputy  superintendent  of  public  instruction  of  the  state, 
then  reporter  to  the  court  of  Appeals,  then  solicitor  of  the  state  department  at 
Washington  during  much  of  the  war  time,  after  which  he  was,  on  the  advice  of 
Secretary  Seward,  selected  by  the  Japanese  government  as  chief  legal  adviser 
of  the  foreign  department  of  that  country,  a  position  which  he  held  until  a  few 
years  ago,  when  he  returned  to  the  United  States. 

Rochester's  first  Chinese  voter  was  naturalised  on  the  8th  of  January,  1883  ; 
his  name  was  Sam  Fang,  his  age  twenty-seven,  his  residence  in  this  country 
twenty  years;  he  could  hardly  be  called  a  "heathen  Chinee,"  being  a  member 
of  St.  Paul's  Episcopal  church.  Shortly  after  noon,  on  July  19th  most  of  the 
telegraph  operators  in  all  the  offices  here,  as  well  as  elsewhere,  left  their  instru- 
ments, in  obedience  to  a  rapping  from  the  office  at  Washington,  where  the 
headquarters  of  the  brotherhood  were.  The  signal  agreed  upon  was  the  tele- 
graphic utterance  of  the  sentence  "  Grant  is  dead,"  and  it  was  supposed  that 
the  language  would  not  be  understood  by  any  one  but  the  different  operators. 
Some  one  in  New  York,  however,  either  in  the  office  or  outside  of  it,  happened 
to  overhear  the  secret  message,  and,  giving  to  it  its  exoteric  meaning,  rushed 
into  the  street  and  communicated  what  he  mistook  for  information,  upon  which 
there  was  great  excitement,  that  was  allayed  only  by  the  revelation  of  the  strike 
that  had  been  just  inaugurated.  In  the  Western  Union  office  here  only  two 
telegraphers  remained  at  work,  and  all  the  managers  had  to  go  on  duty  to  take 
the  place  of  those  who  had  retired ;  in  the  American  Rapid  office  all  deserted, 

12 


172  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

and  the  door  was  closed ;  in  the  Mutual  Union  two  operators  stayed,  and  the 
work  went  on  as  usual.  A  week  later  the  American  Rapid  company  compro- 
mised with  the  strikers,  and  the  office  was  reopened,  but  with  the  other  the 
trouble  continued  for  just  a  month  from  the  beginning  of  the  strike,  when  at 
last  the  operators,  disappointed  in  the  supply  of  funds  from  other  trades  organ- 
isations, and  driven  to  surrender  by  dire  necessity,  yielded  and  returned  to  their 
work.  They  preserved,  throughout  the  whole  period  of  their  voluntary  sus- 
pension from  income-producing  labor,  their  self-respect,  and  with  it  the  respect 
of  the  entire  community,  which  sympathised  in  this  well-directed  though  un- 
successful resistance  to  the  intolerable  tyranny  of  the  most  heartless  monopoly 
of  modern  times.  On  the  5th  of  August  the  military  funeral  of  General  E.  G. 
Marshall  —  who  died  at  Canandaigua,  though  he  was  sometime  a  resident  of 
this  city,  and  was  colonel  of  the  "old  Thirteenth"  —  took  place  here.  In  Sep- 
tember three  things  occurred  here  —  the  convention  of  Freethinkers  of  the 
United  States,  the  visit  of  Lord  Coleridge,  chief-justice  of  the  English  court  of 
queen's  bench,  and  the  digging  up  on  St.  Paul  street  of  one  of  the  spikes  and 
strap  rails  of  the  old  Rochester  &  Carthage  horse  railroad.  The  bi-centennial 
of  the  German  settlement  of  America  was  celebrated  in  fine  style  by  the  fellow- 
countrymen  of  those  pioneers,  the  street  parade  on  the  8th  of  October  being 
notable  for  the  variety  of  its  elements.  Of  the  prosperity  and  improvement  of 
the  city  during  this  last  year  of  our  historical  record,  the  few  following  state- 
ments may  convey  some  intimation  to  readers  in  future  years :  The  new  depot 
of  the  New  York  Central  and  the  elevation  of  its  tracks  through  the  city  were 
completed,  at  a  cost  of  about  $2,000,000 ;  the  Powers  Hotel  —  a  fire-proof 
building,  standing  on  the  site  of  an  ancient  tavern,  older  than  the  city  itself, 
which  was  built  as  the  Monroe  House,  then  changed  its  name  to  the  National, 
then  to  the  Morton,  then  to  the  Champion,  then  back  to  the  National  —  was 
finished,  at  an  expense  of  about  $630,000 ;  the  Warner  observatory,  on  East 
avenue,  was  completed,  costing,  with  its  magnificent  telescope,  not  far  from 
$100,000;  the  Warner  building,  a  splendid  iron  structure  on  North  St.  Paul 
street,  was  built,  at  an  expense  in  the  neighborhood  of  $500,000;  Church 
street  was  opened  and  improved  at  a  total  cost  of  about  $  1 65 ,000 ;  North  St. 
Paul  street  was  straightened  and  widened  for  the  same  amount ;  the  lift  bridge 
over  the  canal  at  Lyell  street  was  built  for  $13,000,  and  finally.  Central  avenue 
was  extended  and  a  bridge  built  across  the  river  to  Atwater  street,  at  a  cost  of 
$46,000.  The  records  of  the  city  surveyor's  office  show  that  during  the  year 
there  were  eleven  streets  improved,  at  an  expense  of  $110,000,  and  thirty-one 
sewers  constructed,  costing  $56,000.  The  records  of  the  city  treasurer  show 
that  the  receipts  for  the  year,  on  account  of  general  city  tax,  were  $1,059,- 
940.48;  the  expenditures  for  local  improvements,  $498,384.00;  the  receipts 
on  local  improvements,  $300,353.73,  and  the  receipts  for  water  rents  about 
$150,000.     The  registry  of  vital  statistics  indicates  that  the  total  number  of 


Necrology  of  1884.  173 


births  was  2,472,  of  marriages  1,021,  of  deatlis  1,785.  The  population  is  at 
this  time  (June  loth,  1884)  estimated  at  110,000. 

Of  the  deaths  those  may  be  noted  of  Samuel  Richardson,  mayor  of  the 
city  in  1850,  though  he  lived  in  Pennsylvania  for  most  of  the  time  after  that; 
the  venerable  Jeremiah  Cutler,  who  in  1824  was  appointed  a  deputy  in  the 
county  clerk's  office  and  served  in  that  capacity  continuously — with  the  ex- 
ception of  two  intervals  aggregating  less  than  three  years  —  till  his  death,  at 
the  age  of  ninety-one,  having  been  employed  under  twenty  successive  county 
clerks;  Lewis  Selye,  who  came  here  in  1824  and  soon  acquired  more  than  a 
local  fame  as  a  manufacturer  of  fire  engines,  was  always  a  public-spirited  citizen 
and  a  liberal  giver,  was  elected  county  treasurer  in  1848  and  again  in  1854  and 
member  of  Congress  in  1866;  Dr.  B.  F.  Gilkeson,  a  well-known  physician;  H. 
Edward  Hooker,  a  prominent  nurseryman,  held  in  the  highest  esteem  by  all 
who  knew  him;  Roswell  Hart,  one  of  the  earliest  coal  dealers  here,  elected 
member  of  Congress  in  1864,  secretary  of  the  Rochester  savings  bank  at  the 
time  of  his  death;  Isaac  Ashley,  a  veteran  landlord,  who  came  here  in  1825 
and  kept,  first,  the  Carter  House,  near  the  canal  feeder,  then  the  Union  Hotel, 
then  the  National  (at  that  time  the  Monroe),  and  then  the  Clinton,  beginning 
there  in  1835  and  retiring  in  1878;  Dr.  Hugh  Bradley,  an  eminent  physician 
and  the  oldest  here  at  the  time  of  his  death;  Addison  Gardiner,  a  distinguished 
citizen,  whose  public  career  is  traced  in  another  part  of  this  work;  Nathaniel 
T.  Rochester,  a  son  of  Colonel  Rochester,  who- came  here  in  1818,  a  man  uni- 
versally respected  but  of  so  retiring  a  disposition  that  he  almost  uniformly  re- 
fused to  hold  any  public  office;  Charles  J.  Hill,  who  came  in  1816  and  was 
mayor  in  1842,  of  whom  a  sketch  is  given  elsewhere;  Joseph  Curtis,  one  of 
the  proprietors  of  the  Union  &  Advertiser,  influential  in  financial  circles  and 
respected  by  all  his  associates  ;  Judge  E.  Darwin  Smith,  who  came  here  in 
1824  and,  after  practising  law  for  many  years,  was  raised,  in  1855,  to  the  bench 
of  the  Supreme  court,  where  he  remained  till  1876,  when  he  retired  by  reason 
of  the  constitutional  limitation  of  seventy  years;  and  Mrs.  Anson  House  (for- 
merly Lucinda  Blossom),  who  came  here  in  1820  and  was  one  of  the  witnesses 
to  the  first  deed  recorded  in  the  county. 

Up  to  the  time  of  the  celebration  of  the  city's  birthday  nothing  occurred  in 
1884,  essential  to  mention  in  this  chapter,  except  the  death  of  Martin  Briggs, 
a  prominent  citizen,  who  held  several  public  offices  and  was  closely  identified 
with  the  iron  industry  of  the  city  for  more  than  fifty  years;  of  George  B.  Har- 
ris, the  typical  fireman  of  Rochester  and  chief-engineer  of  the  department  for 
more  than  seven  years;  of  Mrs.  Silas  O.  Smith,  who  came  here  with  her  hus- 
band in  1813,  and  of  her  son  Edward  M.  Smith,  one  of  the  most  popular  citi- 
zens of  his  day,  who,  after  being  in  the  municipal  council,  was  elected  mayor 
in  1869;  he  was  postmaster  from  1871  to  1875,  being  in  the  meantime  one  of 
the  commissioners  of  water- works;  for  several  years  he  was  one  of  the  three 


174  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

members  of  the  fish  commission  of  the  state  of  New  York  and  was  a  delegate 
in  its  behalf  to  the  fisheries  exposition  in  London  in  1883;  in  1876  he  was  ap- 
pointed United  States  consul  at  Mannheim,  Baden,  and  occupied  that  position 
at  the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  in  England,  as  he  was  on  his  way  to 
return  home. 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 
the  great  celebration. 

Preparations  for  the  Event  —  Services  in  the  Churches  on  Sunday  —  Opening  Salute  on  Monday 

—  The  Literary  Exercises  —  The  Pyrotechnic   Display  —  Reception  of  Guests  —  The  Great  Parade 

—  The  Banquet  —  The  Toasts  —  The  Close. 

WITH  perpetual  announcements  through  the  daily  press  of  the  approach- 
ing festival,  no  one  in  all  this  region  was  ignorant  of  the  preparations 
that  were  made  for  the  appropriate  celebration  of  Rochester's  fiftieth  birthday, 
and  the  populaf  expectations  were  raised  so  high  that  a  fulfillment  of  them 
might  well  have  seemed  destructive  of  the  vanity  of  human  wishes.  But  so  it 
was  that  all  that  had  been  promised  was  performed  and  all  that  had  been  looked 
for  came  to  pass,  and  the  citizens  of  Rochester  were  justly  satisfied  with  a 
triumph  that  has  had  no  counterpart  in  this  portion  of  the  state.  The  anniver- 
sary days  were  the  9th  and  loth  of  June,  but  the  observances  really  began  on 
Sunday,  the  8th,  with  a  delivery  in  most  of  the  churches  of  discourses  per- 
tinent to  the  occasion  —  in  many  cases  reminiscent,  in  others  prophetic.  In 
the  First  Presbyterian  church,  whose  society  is  the  oldest  in  the  city,  the  ser- 
vices were  especially  noticeable.  In  the  morning  Rev.  Dr.  Tryon  Edwards,  who 
was  installed  as  pastor  of  the  congregation  fifty  years  ago  —  and  who  is  now 
settled  at  Gouverneur,  in  this  state  —  preached,  by  request,  the  same  sermon 
which  he  delivered  at  his  installation,  and  many  of  his  hearers  at  this  time  were 
able  to  recall  the  words  to  which  they  had  listened  so  long  before.  The  evening 
services  were  conducted  by  Rev.  Dr.  F.  De  W.  Ward,  now  of  Geneseo,  whose 
connection  with  the  old  church  also  dated  back  half  a  century,  for  it  was  then 
that  he  was  there  ordained  as  a  missionary  to  India. 

Monday  morning  was  quiet  enough,except  as  it  was  occupied  by  tlie  munic- 
ipal committee  in  the  reception  of  invited  guests  from  abroad  and  in  putting 
the  final  touches  on  the  decorations  with  which  most  of  the  buildings  on  all  the 
business  streets  were  profusely  adorned.  As  the  minute  of  noon  arrived  the 
city  hall  bell  gave  the  intelligence  that  Rochester's  semi-centennial  birthday  had 
begun;  the  booming  of  cannon,  with  fifty  measured  notes,  answered  back  the 


The  Semi- Centennial  Celebration.  175 

stroke,  while  for  the  succeeding  hour  the  sweet  chimes  of  St.  Peter's  church 
gave  forth  melodious  sounds  that  were  not  wholly  lost  amid  the  diapason  of 
the  guns  or  the  shrill  discord  from  steam  whistles.  In  the  afternoon  the  liter- 
ary exercises  were  held,  before  an  audience  that  filled  the  large  room,  to  which 
admission  was  by  tickets,  given  by  the  committee  to  all  who  asked  for  them. 
The  walls  were  decorated  with  the  flags  of  all  nations,  the  Stars  and  Stripes 
occupying  the  greater  space,  and.  across  the  ceiling  stretched  alternate  lines  of 
red,  white  and  blue  bunting.  On  the  platform  were  seated  those  who  were  to 
take  part  in  the  proceedings,  the  general  committee,  the  former  mayors  now 
living  and  a  large  number  of  the  old  citizens  who  were  voters  in  1834.  Soon 
after  two  o'clock  Mayor  Parsons  stepped  to  the  front  of  the  stage  and  made  a 
short  address,  beginning  thus  :  — 

"  Fellow-citizens :  The  event  that  calls  us  together  to-day  is  one  truly  memorable. 
Never  again  in  the  life  history  of  most,  so  far  as  our  own  city  is  concerned,  will  a  similar 
occurrence  present  itself.  A  half  century  hence,  long  after  our  children  shall  have  as- 
sumed the  municipal  inheritance  we  leave  them,  those  who  are  active  participants  or 
quiet  listeners  to-day  will  have  gone  the  way  of  all  men  —  gone  to  join  the  innumerable 
throng.  But  this  is  not  the  time  for  sad  reflection.  Neither  do  we  assemble  in  a  spirit 
of  triumph  or  exultation.  We  have  reason  to  rejoice,  however,  and  have  called  in  our 
friends  to  rejoice  with  us.'' 

Rev.  Dr.  J.  B.  Shaw,  the  venerable  pastor  of  the  Brick  church,  then  invoked 
the  divine  blessing  on  the  proceedings  about  to  take  place  and  gave  thanks  for 
all  the  material  blessings  showered  upon  the  city  during  its  existence  and  for  its 
noble  founders,  "those  conscientious  and  high-minded  men,,  from  whose  ex- 
emplary lives  has  radiated  an  influence  for  good  which  has  been  felt  through  all 
the  years  dovi^n  to  the  present  time."  The  prayer  being  ended,  the  mayor 
read  a  communication  from  the  town  clerk  of  Rochester,  England,  containing 
a  resolution  passed  by  the  council  of  that  city,  acknowledging  the  invitation 
sent  by  our  mayor  to  theirs  to  be  present  at  this  celebration,  regretting  his  in- 
ability to  do  so  and  congratulating  our  city  on  its  growth  and  prosperity. 
Frederick  A.  Whittlesey  then  offered  resolutions,  which  were  adopted  by  the 
assemblage,  expressing  gratification  over  the  missive  from  the  ancient  corpora- 
tion by  the  Medway  to  its  youthful  namesake,  and  requesting  our  mayor  to 
transmit  to  the  council  of  the  former  place  a  copy  of  all  the  proceedings  con- 
nected with  this  day  of  jubilee.  Telegrams  were  then  read  from  Frederick 
Douglass,  now  living  in  Washington;  from  Mayor  Banks  of  Albany,  and  from 
M.  H.  Rochester,  of  Cincinnati,  conveying  their  felicitations  and  expressing 
regret  at  their  unavoidable  absence  on  the  occasion.  The  quartette  of  St. 
Peter's  church,  consisting  of  Mrs.  Mandeville,  Miss  Alexander,  Dr.  F.  A.  Man- 
deville  and  F.  M.  Bottum,  sang  Oliver  Wendell  Holmes's  Angel  of  Peace,  with 
the  accompaniment  of  the  Fifty-fourth  regiment  band,  the  whole  music,  vocal 
and  instrumental,  of  this  piece  and  others,  being  under  the  direction  of  Albert 
Sartori. 


176  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Charles  E.  Fitch  was  then  introduced  and  gave  an  extended  historical  ad- 
dress, from  which  these  extracts  may  be  taken,  the  last  one  being  his  perora- 
tion :  — 

"  It  is  a  fact  not,  perhaps,  generally  known,  but  exceedingly  interesting  and  deserving 
emphasis,  that  the  chief  impulse  to  the  exodus  of  Colonel  Rochester  from  Maryland 
was  his  aversion  to  the  institution  of  human  bondage.  He  could  not  bear  the  thought 
of  rearing  his  family  amid  its  demoralising  influences.  He  freed  all  his  slaves,  bringing 
the  majority  of  them  with  him,  as  hired  domestic  servants,  and,  with  his  household  goods, 
set  his  face  toward  the  north  star.  Thus  Rocliester,  which  the  Chrysostom  of  the  col- 
ored race  was  afterward  to  make  his  home,  and  from  which  New  York's  most  philosophic 
statesman  was  to  announce  the  'irrepressible  conflict,'  is,  through  the  resolution  of  its 
founder,  most  honorably  identified  with  the  revival  of  anti-slavery  sentiment  in  America. 

Mrs.  Abelard  Reynolds  came  to  Rochester,  a  young  wife  and  mother,  to  share 

in  the  toils  of  the  frontier  settlement,  and  to  rear  her  family  in  'the  nurture  and  admoni- 
tion of  the  Lord.'  What  panorama  of  dissolving  woods,  of  opening  thoroughfares,  of 
artificial  waterways,  of  iron  fingers  with  friendly  clasp  of  distant  communities,  of  ascend- 
ing walls  enshrining  peaceful  homes  or  uplifting  dome  and  tower  and  steeple,  of  ham- 
mers swinging  and  wheels  revolving,  of  varied  industries  unfolding  and  expanding,  of 
hospitals  and  asylums  evoked  by  the  gentle  genius  of  charity,  of  the  confident  tread  of 
the  sons  pressing  upon  the  tottering  steps  of  the  fathers,  has  passed  before  her  eyes. 
Mother  in  Israel  !  we  greet  thee,  to-day,  with  reverence  and  with  love,  grateful  that 
thou  hast  been  spared  to  witness  all  these  wonders,  and  earnestly  imploring  that,  upon 
the  rounded  cycle  of  thy  hundred  years,  now  so  near  its  consummation,  health  and  peace 

and  mercy  may  descend,  in  benediction We  bid  the  newer  generations 

glory  in  the  warmth  and  cheer  of  a  newer  age.  We  stand  afar  off  and  hail  that  centen- 
nial hour.  We,  who  are  about  to  die,  salute  it;  and  our  prayer  only  is,  knowing  how, 
in  the  order  of  nature  we  pass  away  and  are  forgotten,  that  some  tender  hand,  searching 
amid  the  moss-covered  entablatures  of  the  past,  may  find  the  half-effaced  inscriptions,  and 
learn  that  there  were  men  and  women  who,  in  1884,  tried  honestly,  if  humbly,  to  take 
some  note  of  their  city's  progress,  and  to  transmit  it  to  the  coming  century  worthy,  at 
least,  of  its  kindly  welcome." 

After  the  rendition  of  another  selection  by  the  quartette,  George  Raines  de- 
livered the  oration,  beginning  with  these  words:  — 

"The  true  orator  of  the  hour  is  the  imperial  city  whose  fifty  years  we  celebrate ;  at  our 
feet  lie  her  rich  robes  of  green,  bound  round  with  sheen  of  placid  waters.  She  points  us 
to  her  open  ways  thronging  with  busy  life ;  her  schools  for  youth  crowned  with  a  uni- 
versity curriculum ;  her  theaters  for  popular  amusement;  her  clanking  machinery;  her 
flags  of  spray  fluttering  in  triumph  above  tlie  conquered  waters  escaping  from  brief  im- 
prisonment in  mill  and  factory  to  seek  the  great  lake ;  to  the  princely  palaces  of  the  rich  ; 
to  the  thousand  homes  of  toilers  in  all  the  arts  of  life  in  which  fair  women  and  brave 
men  dig  deep  in  the  bed-work  of  conscience  the  foundation  of  true  morality  and  patriot- 
ism for  the  generations  of  the  future ;  to  her  tribunals  of  justice  in  which  the  right  is 
measured  to  the  people ;  to  her  body  of  officials,  administering  a  government  of  liberty 
regulated  by  law ;  to  her  churches  and  cathedral,  echoing  the  solemn  chant  and  te  detim 
of  the  religion  of  humain  charity  and  of  the  holiness  of  sacrifice.  Let  church  bells  chime 
and  cannon  boom  the  universal  joy.  Proud  in  every  fiber  of  her  achievements  of  the 
past,  which  are  hostages  to  the  future,  we  have  to  hide  no  traditional  disgrace  in  her 


'-    -*,-^, 


.^a '  fi<v. 


'{ 


MRS.  ABELARD  REYNOLDS. 
1784-  — 1884. 


The  Semi-Centennial  Celebration.  177 

civic  history,  either  in  court  or  camp  or  municipal  council.  We  exalt  the  grand  strains 
of  our  rejoicing  in  honor  at  once  of  all  the  generations  that  have  poured  their  labors  of 
love  into  our  victory  in  the  great  rivalries  of  cities.'' 

Tennyson's  Golden  Year  having  been  sung,   Rev.  Joseph  A.  Ely  recited  a 
poem,  of  which  the  following  are  the  first  two  and  the  last  two  stanzas :  — 
"Out  of  the  forest  sprung, 
City  of  ours  ! 
Fondly  thou  dwell'st  among 
Trees  that  with  thee  were  young; 
Now  be  thy  praises  sung. 
City  of  flowers  ! 

"  O'er  thee  no  castle  walls 
Proudly  look  down ; 
No  mythic  glory  falls, 
No  storied  past  enthralls, 
Marble  nor  bronze  recalls 
Ancient  renown. 

"  Lived  their  loved  East  again 

Here  in  the  west. 
Borne  by  heroic  men 
Through  river,  lake  and  glen. 
Mid  the  wild  forest,  then. 

Seeking  its  rest. 

"  Long  may  the  city's  fame 
Honor  their  worth, 
Long,  where  the  fathers  came, 
Children  their  praise  proclaim. 
Bearing  a  noble  name 

Wide  through  the  earth." 
A  festival  hymn,  with  music  composed  for  the  occasion  by  Prof  Sartori, 
was  then  given,  after  which  the  mayor  introduced,  successively.  Mayor  Low, 
of  Brooklyn,  and  Mayor  Smith,  of  Philadelphia,  both  of  whom  made  short  ad- 
dresses of  congratulation,  which  were  received  with  much  applause  by  the  audi- 
ence, after  which  the  time  honored  America  was  sung  by  the  audience,  accom- 
panying the  band,  and  the  benediction  was  pronounced  by  Rev.  Dr.  H.  C.  Riggs, 
of  St.  Peter's  church.  A  sunset  salute  of  fifty  guns  closed  the  day,  and  in  the 
evening  an  exhibition  of  fireworks  was  given  at  the  driving-park,  near  Lake 
avenue,  where  a  crowd  of  nearly  30,000  people  witnessed  the  finest  display  of 
that  kind  ever  beheld  here. 

Tuesday,  the  lOth,  was  ushered  in  by  a  sunrise  salute,  and  from  that  time 
the  city  was  in  a  state  of  more  joyful  confusion  than  even  on  the  preceding 
day.  The  streets  were  filled  at  an  early  hour  with  a  throng  of  persons,  busy 
in  their  idlene-ss,  intent  on  looking  at  the  holiday  apparel  of  the  buildings,  and 
watching  with  interest  the  movements  of  each  other.      Many  of  these  were  resi- 


178  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

dent  citizens,  but  a  great  proportion  were  from  other  places,  and  the  trains  all 
through  the  morning  brought  still  larger  numbers  of  strangers  than  had  arrived 
the  day  before.  Between  nine  and  ten  o'clock  came,  in  a  special  car.  Governor 
Cleveland  and  most  of  the  officers  of  his  staff,  accompanied  by  Mayor  Edson, 
of  New  York,  who  had  gone  up  to  Albany  the  night  before,  to  come  on  with 
the  others.  The  guests  were  met  at  the  depot  by  Mayor  Parsons  and  the 
reception  committee,  besides  a  detachment  of  police,  and  a  large  military 
escort,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  F.  A.  Schceffel,  comprising  the  Eighth 
Separate  company,  with  the  Fifty-fourth  regiment  band ;  the  Powers  Rifles, 
with  drum  corps ;  the  Lincoln  Guards,  with  the  Lincoln  band  ;  the  Greenleaf 
Guards  and  the  Flower  City  Zouaves.  The  line  being  formed,  the  party  were 
taken  to  the  Powers  Hotel,  in  the  rotunda  of  which  a  reception  was  held. 
Mayor  Parsons  delivering  an  address  of  welcome,  to  which  the  governor 
responded ;  after  which  Mayor  Edson  and  Mayor  Low  made  brief  acknowl- 
edgments. The  noonday  salute  of  fifty  giins  gave  the  signal  for  all  the  stores 
to  close  their  doors,  a  measure  that  required  no  self-denial,  for  at  the  very  time 
thousands  of  persons  were  occupying  all  the  steps  and  stairways  and  windows 
on  the  route  of  the  procession  that  was  to  be,  and  thousands  more  were  flock- 
ing down  to  fill  up  any  space  not  already  taken.  Patience  was  needed,  but 
good  nature  was  paramount  over  all,  and  the  dense  throng  on  "the  four  cor- 
ners" parted  without  a  murmur  for  the  carriages  containing  Governor  Cleve- 
land and  the  other  distinguished  visitors  to  pass  through  to  Church  street,  re- 
view the  public  school  children  assembled  there,  and  return  to  the  lofty  platform 
which  had  been  erected  on  West  Main  street,  in  front  of  the  court-house,  for 
their  accommodation  and  that  of  all,  pioneers  and  others,  who  had  been  invited 
to  seats  upon  it.  This  was  done  after  the  parade  had  really  begun,  for  the  line 
of  march  was  formed  at  the  liberty  pole,  at  the  intersection  of  East  Main  street 
and  East  avenue,  and,  though  it  began  to  move  soon  after  two  o'clock,  it  was 
three  before  the  head  of  the  column  had  crossed  the  river  by  the  Central  avenue 
bridge,  and  had  come  abreast  of  the  reviewing-stand.  In  the  van  was  the 
police  force  —  those  in  front  mounted,  the  others  on  foot  —  then  came  the 
marshal  of  the  day,  General  John  A.  Reynolds,  with  a  full  staff  of  aids  and 
deputies ;  then  the  veteran  military  organisations,  then  the  citizen  soldiery  of 
the  present  day  —  with  a  company  of  Buffalo  Cadets  between  the  lines  of  their 
hosts,  the  Rochester  Cadets  —  then  the  lodges  of  Odd  Fellows,  followed  by  the 
uniformed  Catholic  Societies,  the  German  societies  of  various  kinds,  and  the 
Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen,  succeeded  by  a  number  of  organisations, 
social,  industrial  and  otherwise,  and  then  the  Rochester  fire  department,  after 
which  came  an  almost  endless  array  of  wagons  representing  the  different  trades 
and  industries.  The  procession  took  more  than  two  hours  to  pass  the  stand, 
which  will  give  a  better  idea  of  its  length  than  any  enumeration  can  —  the 
more  so  as  its  passage  was  continuous,  for  nothing  occurred  to  obstruct  it,  as 


The  City  Government.  179 

ropes  were  stretched  across  the  intersection  of  Main  street,  from  Elizabeth  to 
Lancaster,  and  all  vehicles  were  at  an  early  hour  excluded  from  the  streets 
along  the  line  of  march.  It  was,  as  the  committee  had  determined  it  should  be, 
the  grandest  parade  ever  seen  in  this  section  of  the  state. 

At  six  o'clock  the  banquet  was  served  at  the  Powers  Hotel,  where  more  than 
one  hundred  were  seated.  After  the  dinner  the  following  toasts,  with  appro- 
priate elaboration,  were' proposed  by  Mayor  Parsons,  and  were  responded  to  by 
those  whose  names  are  attached,  in  each  case:  "The  state  of  New  York," 
Governor  Cleveland;  "the  United  States,"  Alfred  Ely;  "the  city  of  Roches- 
ter," General  A.  W.  Riley;  "our  sister  cities,"  Mayor  Edsori,  of  New  York; 
"Pennsylvania,"  Mayor  Smith,  of  Philadelphia ;  "our  educational  institutions," 
President  Anderson;  "the  clergy,"  Bishop  McQuaid ;  "the  judiciary,"  Judge 
Macomber;  "the  bar,"  W.  F.  Cogswell;  "the  medical  profession,"  Dr.  E.  M, 
Moore;  "the  press,"  William  Purcell ;  "municipal  government,"  Mayor  Low, 
of  Brooklyn  ;  "our  Dominion  visitors,"  Mayor  Boswell,  of  Toronto  ;  "bur  labor 
interests,"  William  N.  Sage;  "the  horticulture  and  floriculture  of  Rochester," 
Patrick  Barry;  "our  labor  interests"  (to  this  there  was  no  response,  as  H.  H. 
Cale,  who  had  been  designated,  was  absent);  "our  veterans,"  Colonel  H.  S. 
Greenleaf;  "the  ladies,"  J.  Breck  Perkins  (by  letter).  Judge  Morgan  then 
introduced  Oronoyetekha  —  the  present  chief  of  the  Mohawks,  from  Canada, 
and  of  the  family  of  Joseph  Brandt,  the  old  war  sachem  of  the  tribe  —  who 
.spoke  in  a  manner  that  was  the  natural  result  of  the  finished  education  which 
he  had  received  in  England.  Another  salute  at  sunset,  with  a  general  illumina- 
tion of  business  blocks  and  houses,  and  a  street  display  of  miscellaneous  fire- 
works in  the  evening,  many  of  which  were  of  a  high  order,  closed,  with  satis- 
faction to  all  —  participants,  hearers  and  spectators  —  the  semi-centennial 
celebration  of  Rochester. 


CHAPTER   XXIV. 


THE  CITY  GOVERNMENT. 


The  Present  Officers  —  The  Common  Council  —  The  Board  of  Education  —  The  City  Deljt  — 
The  Tax  Levy  for  the  Present  Year  —  The  Municipal  Court  —  The  Police  Hoard  —  The  E:xecutive 
Hoard  —  The  County  Officers  —  The  United  States  Officials. 

THE  municipal  year  of  this  city  begins  on  the  first  Monday  of  April.  The 
following  persons  now  constitute  the  government:  Mayor,  Cornelius  R. 
Parsons;  treasurer,  Ambrose  McGlachlin;  police  justice,  Albert  G.  Wheeler; 
city  attorney,  John   N.    Beckley;  judges  of  the  Municipal  court,  Thomas  E. 


i8o  History  OF  THE  City  OF  Rochester. 

White,  George  E.  Warner;  city  clerk,  Peter  Sheridan ;  city  surveyor,  Oscar 
H.  Peacock;  city  messenger,  Frank  J.  Irwin;  overseer  of  the  poor,  John  Lutes; 
city  sealer,  Stephen  Rauber;  fire  marshal,  Arthur  McCormick;  street  superin- 
tendent, Gilbert  H.  Reynolds;  assessors  —  John  Gorton,  William  Mahar,  Val- 
entine Fleckenstein;  executive  board  —  George  W.  Aldridge,  Byron  Holley, 
Samuel  B.  Williams;  police  commissioners  —  C.  R.  Parsons  (ex  officio),  Fred- 
erick Zimmer,  Joseph  W.  Rosenthal;  board  of  health  —  C.  R.  Parsons  [ex 
officio),  J.  W.  Martin,  E.  B.  Chace,  Timothy  Derick,  Dr.  F.  B.  Gallery,  Dr.  E. 
M.  Moore,,  J.  O.  Howard.     Dr.  J.  J.  A.  Burke  is  health  officer 

The  common  council  is  made  up  as  follows:  First  ward,  Wm.  H.  Tracy; 
second  ward,  Martin  Barron;  third  ward,  Amon  Bronson;  fourth  ward,  Charles 
Watson;  fifth  ward,  Henry  Kohlmetz;  sixth  ward,  Elias  Strouss;  seventh 
ward,  Charles  A.  Jeffords;  eighth  ward,  John  H.  Foley;  ninth  ward,  F.  S. 
Upton;  tenth  ward,  James  M.  Pitkin;  eleventh  ward,  Peter  G.  Siener;  twelfth 
ward,  Henry  Rice;  thirteenth  ward.  Christian  Stein;  fourteenth  ward,  Jag.  M. 
Aikenhead;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  Miller  Kelly  ;  sixteenth  ward,  John  B.  Simmel- 
ink.     J.  Miller  Kelly  is  president  of  the  board. 

The  board  of  education  is  as  follows:  First  ward,  J.  E.  Durand;  second, 
J.  O.  Howard;  third,  Thomas  McMillan;  fourth,  H.  A.  Kingsley;  fifth,  C.  S. 
Cook;  sixth,  F.  M.  Thrasher;  seventh,  Milton  Noyes;  eighth,  T.  A.  Ray- 
mond; ninth,  W.  J.  McKelvey;  tenth,  C.  S  Ellis;  eleventh,  Henry  Klein- 
dienst;  twelfth,  T.  H,  Maguire;  thirteenth,  F.  C.  Loebs;  fourteenth,  August 
Kimel;  fifteenth,  J.  P.  Rickard;  sixteenth,  F.  H.  Vick.  C.  S.  Ellis  is  presi- 
dent of  the  board.     S.  A.  Ellis  is  superintendent  of  schools. 

The  debt  of  the  city  in  June,  1884,  with  the  items  of  the  various  loans,  is 
as  follows :  — 

Genesee  Valley  railroad  loan  re-issue $144,000  00 

R.  N.  &  P.  R.  R.  loan 1 50,000  00 

R.  &  S.  L.  R.  R.  loan 600,000  00 

Arsenal  site  loan 8,000  00 

Floating  debt  loan . 21 0,000  00 

City  Hall  Commissioners  loan 33S>ooo  00 

Free  academy  building  loan 1 25,000  00 

Water  works  loan _ _ 3,182,000  00 

Funding  loan   1875 410,00000 

Number  5  school  loan 20,000  00 

Consolidated  loan 100,000  00 

$5,284,000  00 
The  Genesee  Valley  railroad  loan  is  provided  for  by  excess  of  receipts  from 

lease  to  the  N.  Y.,  L.  E.  and  W.  R.  R.  after  interest  on  the  loan  is  paid. 

The  arsenal  site  loan  is  provided  for  by  $1,500  received  annually  from  the 

county  of  Monroe,  for  rent  of  the  arsenal. 


The  Tax  Levy  for  1884-85.  181 

The  tax  levy  for  1884-85  is  as  follows:  — 

For  payment  of  notes  authorised  by  the  common  council  to  supply  deficiencies  in 
the  following  funds :  — 

Water  pipe  fund $75,000  00 

City  property  fund 8,000  00 

Park    fund 2,000  00 

Erroneous  assessments. 633  58 

Contingent  fund 42,000  00 

Highway  fund 51,000  00 

Health   fund 3>5°o  00 

Police  fund 21 ,000  00 

Lamj)   fund 22,500  00 

Fire  department  fund 1 7,000  00 

$242,633  58 

For  deficiency  in  estimate  in  tax  levy  of  1883-84  of  the 
amount  to  be  received  from  the  executive  board  for  surplus 
receipts  over  expenditures  from  water  works  _ 40  000  00 

For  interest  on  the  bonded  debt  as  follows :  — 

At  seven  per  cent,  for  one  year_  _ $352,300  00 

At  four  per  cent,  for  one  year 4,000  00 

$356,3°°  °° 
Less  amount  to  be  paid  in  by  executive  board  for 
surplus  receipts  over  expenditures  from  water 

works 85,000  00 

271,300  00 

For  payment  of  15  bonds  Free  academy  site  loan 

due  January  ist,  1884,  at  $iooo  each 15,000  00 

For  payment  of  50  bonds  deficiency  loan  due 

January  ist,   1884 _ ' 50,00000 

Less  amount  of  unpaid  taxes  prior  to  1870,  col- 
lected since  the  issue  of  said  loan  and  placed 

to  its  credit. — 25,939  75     24,060  25 

For  erroneous  assessments 4,442  60 

For  local  assessments  on  city  property 6,477  75 

For  lighting  city 75,°°°  00 

For  sup))ort  of  poor 20,000  00 

For  support  of  police 75,°°°  00 

For  contingent  expenses 60,000  00 

For  board  of  health,  including  collecting  gar- 
bage   1 2,000  00 

For  city  property 4,000  00 

For  parks 2,500  00 

For  executive  board,  as  per  requisition 165,200  60 

For  support  of  common  schools 22 6,399  °7 

Total $1,244,013  25 

The    Municipal  court  was  organised  in  1876,  taking  the  place  of  the  jus- 
tices' courts  which  had  formerly  existed  here-.     It  is  a  court  of  civil  jurisdic- 


1 82  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

tion,  for  the  trial  of  actions  to  the  extent  of  $500.  The  first  judges  were 
John  W.  Deuel  and  George  W.  Sill,  both  appointed  by  Governor  Tilden  —  the 
former  for  five  years,  the  latter  for  six.  In  1881  George  E.  Warner  was 
elected  to  succeed  Judge  Deuel,  and  in  1882  Thomas  E.  White  was  chosen  to 
succeed  Judge  Sill. ,.  The  term  is  six  years;  the  offices  are  in  the  city  hall 
building. 

The  following  list  of  the  several  police  boards  since  the  present  law  went 
into  effect,  in  July,  1865,  has  been  furnished  by  B.  F.  Enos,  the  clerk  of  the 
board :  — 

1865.  — D.  D.  T.  Moore,  mayor;  Henry -S.  Hebard,  Jacob  Howe,  sr., 
commissioners. 

1866. — S.  W.  D.  Moore,  mayor;  H.  S.  Hebard,  Jacob  Howe,  sr.,  com- 
missioners. 

1867-68.  —  Henry  L.  Fish,  mayor;  H.  S.  Hebard,  Jacob  Howe,  sr.,  com- 
missioners. 

1869. — Edward  M.  Smith,  mayor;  H.  S.  Hebard,  George  G.  Cooper, 
commissioners. 

1870. — John  Lutes,  mayor;  H.  S.  Hebard,  George  G.  Cooper,  commis- 
sioners.    H.  S.  Hebard  acted  as  secretary  to  the  board  to.  this  date. 

1 87 1.  —  Charles  W.  Briggs,  mayor;  H.  S.  Hebard,  George  G.  Cooper, 
commissioners.     B.  Frank  Enos,  clerk. 

1872.  —  A.  Carter  Wilder,  mayor;  H.  S.  Hebard,  G.  G.  Cooper,  commis- 
,sioners.     B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

1873. — A.  Carter  Wilder,  mayor;  G.  G.  Cooper,  Fred.  Zimmer,  com- 
missioners.    B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

1874-75. — George  G.  Clarkson,  mayor;  G.  G.  Cooper,  Fred.  Zimmer, 
commissioners.      B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

1876.  —  Cornelius  R.  Parsons,  mayor;  G.  G.  Cooper,  Fred.  Zimmer,  com- 
missioners.    B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

1877—79 — C.  R.  Parsons,  mayor;  Fred.  Zimmer,  Henry  C.  Daniels,  com- 
missioners.    B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

1880-84  —  C.  R.  Parsons,  mayor;  Fred.  Zimmer,  Jacob  Howe,  jr.,  com- 
missioners.    B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

Thomas  J.  Neville,  clerk  of  the  executive  board,  has  kindly  prepared  the  fol- 
lowing "history  of  the  rise,  power  and  progress  of  the  commission  of  public  works, 
the  executive  board,  the  water  commission,  and  the  water-works  and  fire 
board  "  :— 

"The  board  of  commissioners  of  public  works  was  created  by  an  act  of  the  legisla- 
ture passed  May  20th,  1872.  The  members  of  this  board  were  made  commissioners  of 
highways  and  authorised  to  exercise  all  the  powers  and  perform  all  the  duties  belonging 
to  such  commissioners  in  all  the  streets,  lanes,  parks,  etc.,  of  the  city  of  Rochester.  The 
authority  to  pass  ordinances  for  public  improvements,  let  contracts  for,  supervise  the  con- 
struction of,  and  confirm  assessment  rolls  of,  such  improvements  was  also  given  to  said 


The  Board  of  Commissioners  of  Public  Works.  183 

commissioners,  which  power  was  formerly  vested  in  the  common  council.  A.  Carter 
Wilder,  mayor,  appointed  Martin  Briggs,  Wm.  Purcell,  George  H.  Thompson,  Herman 
Mutschler  and  Daniel  Warner  commissioners  of  public  works  on  May  28th,  1872.  In 
1873  Henry  S.  Hebard  was  appointed  commissioner  in  place  of  Herman  Mutschler,  and 
Thomas  J.  Neville  in  place  of  William  Purcell  resigned,  and  in  1874  Jonathan  E.  Pier- 
pont,  in  place  of  Henry  S.  Hebard,  whose  term  of  office  had  expired,  and  Ambrose  Cram 
in  place  of  Daniel  Warner  resigned.  In  March,  1876,  by  an  act  of  the  legislature,  the 
executive  board  was  created,  consisting  of  six  members,  three  of  whom  were  elected  by 
the  people  and  three  were  appointed  by  the  mayor.  The  three  members  elected  were 
Thomas  J.  Neville,  Philip  J.  Meyer  and  V.  Fleckenstein  for  the  terms  of  one,  two  and 
three  years  repectively,  and  Henry  L.  Fish,  Ambrose  Cram  and  C.  C.  Woodworth  were 
appointed  for  corresponding  terms  of  office.  On  the  executive  board  was  conferred  all 
the  power  exercised  by  the  commissioners  of  public  works,, except  the  authority  to  pass 
ordinances  and  confirm  assessment  rolls,  and  in  addition  thereto  the  control  and  man- 
agement of  the  fire  and  water  works  department  was  conferred  upon  them.  In  the 
chapter  on  the  water  works  of  Rochester  will  be  found  a  sketch  of  the  water  board.  In 
April,  1879,  the  executive  board  was  bisected  and  the  management  of  the  street  depart- 
ment was  placed  in  a  board  of  three  members,  viz.,  F.  P.  Kavanaugh  and  Ezra  Jones 
elected  and  F.  C.  Lauer  appointed,  and  the  water  works  and  fire  department  in  the 
charge  of  a  board  of  two  members,  V.  Fleckenstein  and  C.  C.  Woodworth,  which  was 
known  as  the  'water  works  and  fire  board.'  In  1880  the  executive  board  and  water 
works  and  fire  board  were  united  and  a  board  constituted  of  three  members  was  organ- 
ised. The  law  provided  that  members  be  elected  by  the  people  for  one,  two  and  three 
years.  This  board  is  now  existing  and  has  the  care  and  management  of  the  water  works, 
fire  and  street  department  of  the  city  of  Rochester." 

It  may  be  as  well  to  give,  in  this  connection,  the  names  of  the  county  offi- 
cers now  serving.  The  city  members  of  the  board  of  supervisors  are  given  in 
the  following  chapter.  The  county  clerk  is  Henry  D.  McNaughton ;  county 
treasurer,  Alexander  McVean ;  district-attorney,  Joseph  W.  Taylor ;  sheriff, 
Francis  A.  Schceffel ;  county  judge,  John  S.  Morgan  ;  special  county  judge, 
Thomas  Raines ;  surrogate,  Joseph  A.  Adlington  ;  superintendent  of  the  poor, 
George  E.  McGonegal ;  coroners^Dr.  Porter  Farley,  Daniel  A.  Sharpe. 

Of  the  United  States  officials,  the  postmaster  is  Daniel  T.  Hunt,  the  col- 
lector of  the  port  is  Charles  E.  Morris  and  the  collector  of  internal  revenue  is 
Henry  S.  Pierce. 


1 84  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

CHAPTER  XXV. 

THE  CIVIL  LIST. 

The  Village  Trustees  —  The  Mayors  —  The  Boards  of  Aldermen  — The  City  Treasurers  —  The  Po- 
lice Justices  —  The  City  Supervisors  —  The  Sheriffs  —  The  County  Clerks  —  The  County  Treasurers  — 
The  State  Senators — The  Members  of  Assembly  —  The  Members  of  Congress. 

THE  names  of  the  trustees  of  the  village,  chosen  at  its  incorporation  in  1817, 
have  been  given  above,  and  those  elected  in  succeeding  years  are  as  fol- 
lows :  — 

1818.  —  Francis  Brown,  Daniel  Mack,  Everard  Peck,  Isaac  Colvin,  Ira 
West.     Moses  Chapin,  clerk ;  Frederick  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1 8 19.  —  No  election  was  held,  the  old  trustees  continuing  in  office. 

1820.  —  Matthew  Brown,  jr.,  Moses  Chapin,  William  Cobb,  Charles  J.  Hill, 
Elisha  Taylor.     Moses  Chapin,  clerk  ;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1 82 1.  —  M.  Brown,  jr.,  Moses  Chapin,  Warham  Whitney,  C.  J.  Hill, 
Elisha  Taylor.     M.  Chapin,  clerk ;   F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1822.  —  M.  Brown,  jr.,  president;  R.  Bender,  C.  J.  Hill,  S.  Melancton 
Smith,  W.  Whitney.     H.  R.  Bender,  clerk ;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1823.  —  M.  Brown,  jr.,  president;  Jacob  Graves,  W.  P.  Sherman,  Abner 
Wakelee,  S.  M.  Smith.     Rufus  Beach,  clerk ;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1824. — John  W.  Strong,  president;  W.  Whitney,  Anson  Coleman,  Jona- 
than Packard,  Ashbel  W.  Riley.     R.  Beach,  clerk ;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1825.  —  M.  Brown,  jr.,  president;  Phelps  Smith,  Frederick  Starr,  William 
Rathbun,  Gilbert  Evernghim.     R.  Beach,  clerk ;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer. 

1826.  —  During  this  year  and  the  next  seven  one  trustee  was  elected  from 
■each  of  the  five  wards  into  which  the  village  had  been  divided,  the  wards  being 

represented  in  the  order  in  which  the  trustees  are  named,  as  follows :  WiU'am 
Brewster,  M.  Brown,  jr.  (president),  Vincent  Mathews,  John  Mastick,  Giles 
Boulton.  Rufus  Beach,  clerk ;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer ;  Raphael  Beach,  collec- 
tor. 

1827.  —  Frederick  Whittlesey,  Ezra  M.  Parsons,  Jonathan  Child,  Elisha 
Johnson  (president),  A.  V.  T.  Leavitt.  R.  Beach,  clerk;  John  B.  Elwood, 
treasurer;  Stephen  Symonds,  collector. 

1828.  —  Ebenezer  Ely,  E.  M.  Parsons,  Ephraim  Moore,  E.  Johnson  (presi- 
dent), Nathaniel  Rossiter.  F.  Whittlesey,  clerk;  F.  F.  Backus,  treasurer;  D. 
D.  Hatch,  collector. 

1829. — John  Haywood,  S.  S.  Alcott,  Robert  L.  McCollum,  E.  Johnson 
(president),  William  H.  Ward.  Hestor  L.  Stevens,  clerk ;  Seth  Saxton,  treas- 
urer; Robert  H.  Stevens,  collector. 

1830. — William  Pease,  Joseph  Medbery  (president),  Jonathan  Child,  Adon- 
ijah  Green,  Harmon  Bissell.  Samuel  L.  Selden  and  Isaac  R.  Elwood,  clerks ; 
S.  Saxton,  treasurer;  A.  Newton,  collector. 


City  Civil  List.  185 


183 1.  — Rufus  Meech,  M.  Brown,  jr.,  Jacob  Thorn,  Harvey  Humphrey,  N. 
Rossiter  (president).  A.  W.  Stowe,  clerk ;  Ebenezer  Ely,  treasurer ;  Lester 
Beardslee,  collector. 

1832.  —  S.  L.  Selden,  William  Rathbun,  J.  Thorn  (president),  Daniel 
Tinker,  Orrin  E.  Gibbs.  A.  W.  Stowe,  clerk ;  Eben.  Ely,  treasurer ;  Seth 
Simmons,  -collector. 

^^33' — William  E.  Lathrop,  Fletcher  M.  Haight  (president),  E.  F.  Marsh- 
all, D.  Tinker,  Nathaniel  Draper.  I.  R.  Elwood,  clerk ;'  Ebenezer  Watts,  treas- 
urer ;  James  Caldwell,  collector.  That  ends  the  village  government,  for  in 
1834  Rochester  was  incorporated  as  a  city.' 

Mayors.  —  The  first  mayor  chosen  was  Jonathan  Child.  His  successors  in 
office  are  as  follows:  1835  and  1836,  Jacob  Gould;  1837,  A.  M.  Schermer- 
horn  and  Thomas  Kempshall ;  1838,  Elisha  Johnson  ;  1839,  Thomas  H.  Roch- 
ester ;  1840,  Samuel  G.  Andrews;  1841,  Elijah  F.  Smith;  1842,  Charles  J.. 
Hill;  1843,  Isaac  Hills;  1844,  John  Allen ;  1845  and  1846,  William  Pitkin.; 
1847,  John  B.  Elwood;  1848,  Joseph  Field;  1849,  Levi  A.  Ward;  1850, 
Samuel  Richardson;  185 1,  Nicholas  E.  Paine;  1852,  Hamlin  Stilwell ;  1853, 
John  Williams;  1854,  Maltby  Strong;  1855,  Charles  J.  Hayden ;  1856,  Sam- 
uel G.  Andrews;  1857,  Rufus  Keeler;  1858,  Charles  H.  Clark;  1859,  Samuel 
W.  D.  Moore;  i860,  Hamlet  D.  Scrantom ;  1861,  John  C.  Nash;  1862,  Mich- 
ael Filon  ;  1863,  Nehemiah  C.  Bradstreet;  1864,  James  Brackett ;  1865,  Daniel 
D.  T.  Moore;  1866,  S.  W.  D.  Moore;  1867  and  1868,  Henry  L.  Fish  ;  1869, 
Edward  M.  Smith;  1870,  John  Lutes;  1871,  Charles  W.  Briggs ;  1872-73, 
A.  Carter  Wilder  ;  1874-75,  George  G.  Clarkson  ;  1876-77,1878-79,1880- 
81,  1882-83,  and  1884-85,  Cornelius  R.  Parsons. 

Aldermen.-^— The  following  is  a  list  of  the  members  of. the  common  council 
from  the  incorporation  of  the  city  to  the  present  time,  the  second  name  given 
after  each  ward  being  that  of  the  assistant  alderman  during  the  first  four  years, 
after  which  two  full  aldermen  were  chosen  from  each  ward  till  1877,  when  the 
representation  was  confined  to  one  member : 

1834.  —  First  ward,  Lewis  Brooks,  John  Jones;  second  ward,  Thomas 
Kempshall,  Elijah  F.  Smith ;  third  ward,  Frederick  F.  Backus,  Jacob  Thorn  ; 
fourth  ward,  A.  W.  Riley,  Lansing  B.  Swaii ;  fifth  ward,  Jacob  Graves,  Henry 
Kennedy.     John  C.  Nash,  clerk. 

1835.  —  First  ward,  Hestor  L.  Stevens,  William  E.  Lathrop;  second  ward, 
Matthew.  Brown,  Hiram  Blanchard ;  third  ward,  James  Seymour,  ErastuS' 
Cook ;  fourth  ward,  Joseph  Halsey,  Nathaniel  Bingham  ;  fifth  ward,  I.  R.  El- 
wood, Butler  Bardwell.     Ariel  Wentworth,  clerk. 

1836.  —  First  ward,  Alex.  S.  Alexander,  John  Haywood;  second  ward, 
Warham  Whitney,  Joseph  AUeyn ;  third  ward,  Joseph  Strong,  Jonathan  Pack- 
ard ;  fourth  ward,  Manley  G.  Woodbury,  Mitchel  Loder ;  fifth  ward,  William 
H.  Ward,  David  Scoville.     P.  G.  Buchan,  clerk. 


1 86  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

1837.  —  First  ward,  H.  L.  Stevens,  Kilian  H,  Van  Rensselaer;  second  ward, 
S.  H.  Packard.  W.  Barron  Williams ;  third  ward,  Joseph  Strong,  John  Hawks ; 
fourth  ward,  M.  G.  Woodbury,  Schuyler  Moses;  fifth  ward,  L.  C.  Faulkner, 
James  Williams.     J.  W.  Gilbert,  clerk. 

1838. —  First  ward,  Abelard  Reynolds,  Stephen  Charles;  second  ward, 
John  Allen,  Isaac  F.  Mack ;  third  ward,  Joseph  Strong,  John  Hawks ;  fourth 
ward,  Elias  Pond,  Matthew  G.  Warner ;  fifth  ward,  Samuel  G.  Andrews,  Orrin 
E.  Gibbs.     I.  R.  Elwood,  clerk. 

1839.  —  First  ward,  Abelard  Reynolds,  Stephen  Charles;  second  ward, 
John  Allen,  George  Arnold  ;  third  ward,  John  C.  Stevens,  E.  D.  Smith  ;  fourth 
ward,  Elias  Pond,  S.  W.  D.  Moore;  fifth  ward,  S.  G.  Andrews,  William  Pit- 
kin.    T.  B.  Hamilton  and  W.  R.  Montgomery,  clerks. 

1 840.  —  First  ward,  Stephen  Charles,  Henry  Witbeck  ;  second  ward,  George 
Arnold,  I.  F.  Mack ;  third  ward,  E.  D.  Smith,  Henry  Cady ;  fourth  ward,  S. 
W.  D.  Moore,  Porter  Taylor;  fifth  ward,  D.  R.  Barton,  William  J.  Southerin. 
W.  R.  Montgomery,  clerk. 

1841.  —  First  ward,  Henry  Witbeck,  John.son  I:  Robins;  second  ward,  I.  F. 
Mack,  Lewis  Selye ;  third  ward,  Henry  Cady,  Jo.seph  Field;  fourth  ward, 
Porter  Taylor,  William  W.  Howell ;  fifth  ward,  W.  J.  Southerin,  Aaron  lirick- 
son.     W.  R.  Montgomery,  clerk. 

1 842.  —  First  ward,  J.  I.  Robins,  Hamlin  Stilwell ;  second  ward,  Lewis 
Selye,  John  Williams;  third  ward,  Joseph  Field,  Henry  Campbell;  fourth  ward, 
W.  W.  Howell,  George  B.  Benjamin ;  fifth  ward,  Aaron  Erickson,  N.  B.  Nor- 
throp.    J.  A.  Eastman,  clerk. 

1843. — -First  ward,  H.  Stilwell,  S.  Richardson;  second  ward,  J.  Williams, 
L.  Selye ;  third  ward,  H,  Campbell,  Eleazar  Conkey ;  fourth  ward,  G.  B.  Benja- 
min, Moses  B.  Seward ;  fifth  ward;  N.  B.  Northrop,  Joshua  Conkey.  A.  S. 
Beers,  clerk. 

1844.  —  First  ward,  S.  Richardson,  Alfred  Hubbell;  second  ward,  L. 
Selye,  J.  Williams;  third  ward,  E.  Conkey,  Simon  Traver;  fourth  ward,  M. 
B.  Seward,  Thomas  Kempshall ;  fifth  ward,  J.  Conkey,  Rufus  Keeler.  A.  S. 
Beers,  clerk. 

1845. — First  ward,  A.  Hubbell,  Abram  Van  Slyck;  second  ward.  Pardon 
D.  Wright,  Seth  C.  Jones ;  third  ward,  S.  Traver,  Everard  Peck ;  fourth  ward, 
T.  Kempshall,  John  H.  Babcock ;  fifth  ward,  Joseph  Cochrane,  Jared  Newell ; 
sixth  ward,  L.  A.  Ward,  George  Keeney ;  seventh  ward,  Wm  I.  Hanford,  Jer- 
emiah Hildreth  ;  eighth  ward,  John  Briggs,  Edwin  Scrantom  ;  ninth  ward,  John 
Fisk,  Charles  B.  Coleman.     Chauncey  Nash,  clerk. 

1846.  —  First  ward.  A-  Van  Slyck,  A.  Hubbell;  second  ward,  S.  C.  Jones, 
Samuel  F.  Witherspoon  ;  third  ward,  E.  Peck,  Charles  Hendrix ;  Fourth  ward, 
J.  H.  Babcock,  Theodore  B.  Hamilton  ;  fifth  ward,  Jared  Newell,  Henry  Fox  ; 
sixth  ward,  Charles  L.  Pardee,  L.  A.  Ward  ;  seventh  ward,  J.  Hildreth,  William 


>     L 


\ 


SCHUYLER  MOSES. 


City  Civil  List.  187 


G.  Russell ;  eighth  ward,  E.  Scrantom,  Samuel  W.  D.  Moore ;  ninth  ward, 
George  J.  Whitney,  Charles  Robinson.  Chauncey  Nash  and  James  S.  Tryon, 
clerks. 

1847.  —  First  ward,  A.  Hubbell,  S.  Richardson  ;  second  ward,  S.  F.  Wither- 
spoon,  John  Disbrow  ;  third  ward,  C.  Hendrix,  James  M.  Fish  ;  fourth  ward, 
T.  B.  Hamilton,  Joseph  Hall;  fifth  ward,  H.  Fox,  Nathan  H.  Blossom;  sixth 
ward,  L.  A.  Ward,  John  Rees ;  seventh  ward,  W.  G.  Russell,  L.  Ward  Smith  ; 
eighth  ward,  S.  W.  D.  Moore,  Hatfield  Halsted  ;  ninth  ward,  C.  Robinson, 
James  Gallery.     J.  S.  Tryon,  cleric. 

1848. — r'irst  ward,  S.  Richardson,  H.  Scrantom;  second  ward,  J.  Dis- 
brow, ICz.ra  Jones;  third  ward,  J.  M.  Fish,  Wm.  Churchill;  fourth  ward,  Joseph 
Hall,  John  L.  Fish;  fifth  ward,  N.  H.  Blossom,  Isaac  Van  Kuren;  sixth  ward, 
Philander  Davis,  J.  S.  Benton;  seventh  ward,  L.  W.  Smith,  John  Greig;  eighth 
ward,  H.  Halsted,  S.  W.  D.  Moore;  ninth  ward,  J.  Gallery,  Sebastian  Zeug. 
H.  L.  Winants,  clerk. 

1849.  — First  ward,  H.  Scrantom,  John  Dawley;  second  ward,  Ezra  Jones, 
S.  B.  Stoddard;  third  ward,  Wm.  Churchill,  J.  S.  Caldwell;  fourth  ward,  J.  L. 
Fish,  G.  S.  Copeland;  fifth  ward,  I.  Van  Kuren,  N.  B.  Northrop;  sixth  ward, 
Phil.  Davis,  Samuel  P.  Allen;  seventh  ward,  John  Greig,  George  T.  Frost; 
eighth  ward,  S.  W.  D.  Moore,  E.  S.  Boughton;  ninth  ward,  Sebastian  Zeug, 
Peter  A.  Smith.      Newell  A.  Stone,  clerk. 

1850.  —  First  ward,  J.  Dawley,  William  F.  Holmes;  second  ward,  W.  H. 
Wait,  Martin  Briggs;  third  ward,  J.  S.  Caldwell,  L.  R.  Jerome;  fourth  ward, 
G.  S.  Copeland,  T.  T.  Morse;  fifth  ward,  N.  B.  Northrop,  Joshua  Conkey; 
sixth  ward,  Phil.  Davis,  C.  A.  Jones;  seventh  ward,  G.  T.  Frost,  Hiram  Ban- 
ker; eighth  ward,  E.  S.  Boughton,  Henry  L.  Fish;  ninth  ward,  Peter  A. 
Smith,  Henry  Suggett.     J.  N.  Drummond,  clerk. 

185 1. — Plrst  ward,  Wm.  F.  Holmes,  Benjamin  M.  Baker;  second  ward, 
Martin  Briggs,  W.  H.  Wait;  third  ward,  L.  R.  Jerome,  Amon  Bronson ;  fourth 
ward,  T.  T.  Morse,  Schuyler  Moses;  fifth  ward,  Joshua  Conkey,  J.  B.  Robert- 
son; sixth  ward,  C.  A.  Jones,  Thomas  Parsons;  seventh  ward,  Hiram  Banker, 
J.  H.  Babcock ;  eighth  ward,  H.  L.  Fish,  H.  Seymour ;  ninth  ward,  John  Fisk, 
Lysander  Farrar.      E.  B.  Shepardson,  clerk. 

1852.  —  First  ward,  B.  M.  Baker,  Wm.  F.  Holmes;  second  ward,  W.  H. 
Wait,  B.  F.  Gilkeson  ;  third  ward,  Amon  Bronson,  John  M.  French  ;  fourth 
ward,  S.  Moses,  George  Shelton  ;  fifth  ward,  J.  B.  Robertson,  George  B.  Red- 
field  ;  sixth  ward,  T.  Parsons,  Michael  Filon ;  seventh  ward,  J.  H.  Babcock, 
Edward  M.  Smith ;  eighth  ward,  H.  Seymour,  George  G.  Munger ;  ninth 
ward,  L.  P^arrar,  Edgar  Belden.     Washington  Gibbons,  clerk. 

1853.  —  First  ward,  W.  F.  Holmes,  Ambrose  Cram;  second  ward,  B.  F. 
Gilkeson,  J.  C.  Marsh  ;  third  ward,  J.  M.  French,  Amon  Bronson  ;  fourth 
ward,  G.  Shelton,  J.  C.  Chumasero;   fifth  ward,    G.  B.  Redfield,  M.  Douglass; 

13 


1 88  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

sixth  ward,  M.  Filon,  Charles  H.  Clark ;  seventh  ward,  E.  M.  Smith,  P.  P. 
Thayer ;  eighth  ward,  G.  G.  Munger,  Daniel  D.  Lynch ;  ninth  ward,  E.  Bel- 
den,  B.  Schoeffel ;  tenth  ward,  Thomas  Parsons.     W.  Gibbons,  clerk. 

1854.  —  First  ward,  A.  Cram,  Johnson  I.  Robins  ;  second  ward,  J.  C.  Marsh, 
A.  J.  Harlow  ;  third  ward,  A.  Bronson,  William  Breck ;  fourth  ward,  J.  C. 
Chumasero,  George  Shelton ;  fifth  ward,  M.  Douglass,  E.  K.  Warren ;  sixth 
ward,  C.  H.  Clark,  Michael  Filon ;  seventh  ward,  P.  P.  Thayer,  Stephen 
Charles;  eighth  ward,  D.  D.  Lynch,  William  H.  Moore;  ninth  ward,  B. 
Schoeffel,  J.  Hilton ;  tenth  ward,  T.  Parsons,  John   Quin.     W.  Gibbons,  clerk. 

1855.  —  First  ward,  J.  I.  Robins,  Edwin  Pancost;  second  ward,  A.J. 
Harlow,  Martin  Briggs ;  third  ward,  W.  Breck,  Thos.  C.  Montgomery ; 
fourth  ward,  G.  Shelton,  J.  M.  Winslow  ;  fifth  ward,  E.  K.  Warren,  M.  Doug- 
glass  ;  sixth  ward,  M.  Filon,  C.  H.  Clark ;  seventh  ward,  S.  Charles,  E.  W. 
Sabin ;  eighth  ward,  W.  H.  Moore,  J.  B.  Bennett  ;  ninth  ward,  J.  Hilton, 
Louis  Bauer ;  tenth  ward,  J.  Quin,  John  E.  Morey.     W.  Gibbons,  clerk. 

1856. — First  ward,  U.  C.  Edgerton,  W.  S.  Thompson;  second  ward,  Mar- 
tin Briggs,  G.  W.  .Parsons;  third  ward,  T.  C.  Montgomery,  Adolphus  Morse ; 
fourth  ward,  J.  M.  Winslow,  John  T.  Lacy ;  fifth  ward,  M.  Douglass,  M.  Mc- 
Donald ;  sixth  ward,  C.  H.  Clark,  George  G.  Cooper ;  seventh  ward,  E.  W. 
Sabin,  Chauncey  Perry;  eighth  ward,  J.  B.  Bennett,  H.  L.  Fish;  ninth  ward, 
L.  Bauer,  Lewis  Selye ;  tenth  ward,  J.  E.  Morey,  C.  Dutton.  C.  N.  Simmons, 
clerk. 

1857.  —  First  ward,  W.  S.  Thompson,  Jacob  Howe;  second  ward,  G.  W. 
Parsons,  Heman  Loomis ;  third  ward,  A.  Morse,  A.  G.  Wheeler;  fourth  ward, 
J.  T.  Lacy,  H.  S.  Hebard ;  fifth  ward,  M.  McDonald,  P.  M.  Bromley ;  sixth 
ward,  G.  G.  Cooper,  J.  Schutte ;  seventh  ward,  C.  Perry,  P.  Cunningham  ; 
eighth  ward,  H.  L.  Fish,  Obed  M.  Rice  ;  ninth  ward,  L.  Selye,  John  Lutes ; 
tenth  ward,  C.  Dutton,  Thomas  Parsons.     C.  N.  Simmons,  clerk. 

1858. —  First  ward,  Jacob  Howe,  W.  Mudgett,  jr.  ;  second  ward,  Heman 
Loomis,  G.  W.  Perry;  third  ward,  A.  G.  Wheeler,  W.  A.  Reynolds;  fourth 
ward,  H.  S.  Hebard,  G.  W.  Lewis ;  fifth  ward,  P.  M.  Bromley,  L.  B.  Twitch- 
ell  ;  sixth  ward,  J.  Schutte,  D.  W.  Perry ;  seventh  ward,  P.  Cunningham,  H. 
Billinghurst;  eighth  ward,  O.  M.  Rice,  Henry  B.  Knapp ;  ninth  ward,  John 
Lutes,  L.  Selye ;  tenth  ward,  Thomas  Parsons,  H.  S.  Fairchild  ;  eleventh  ward, 
J.  W.  Phillips,  L.  Bauer.     C.  N.  Simmons,  clerk. 

1859. — First  ward,  W.  Mudgett,  jr. ;  W.  F.  Holmes;  .second  ward,  G.  W. 
Perry,  Benjamin  Butler;  third  ward,  W.  A.  Reynolds,  William  Hollister ; 
fourth  ward,  G.  W.  Lewis,  H.  S.  Hebard ;  fifth  ward,  L.  B.  Twitchell,  N.  C. 
Bradstreet ;  sixth  ward,  D.  W.  Perry,  John  C.  Nash ;  seventh  ward,  Henry  G. 
Moore,  Aaron  Erickson  ;  eighth  ward,  H.  B.  Knapp,  N.  A.  Stone  ;  ninth  ward, 
L.  Selye,  John  Lutes ;  tenth  ward,  H.  S.  Fairchild,  G.  Shelton ;  eleventh  ward, 
L.  Bauer,  J.  C-  Mason  ;  twelfth  ward,  W.  T.  Gushing,  H.  Billinghurst.  F.  S. 
Rew,  clerk. 


City  Civil  List.  189 


i860.  —  First  ward,  W.  F.  Holmes,  James  Brackett ;  second  ward,  B.  But- 
ler, D.  A.  Woodbury ;  third  ward,  W.  HoUister,  Eben  N.  Buell ;  fourth  ward, 
H.  S.  Hebard,  I.  S.  Waring;  fifth  ward,  N.  C.  Bradstreet,  Alexander  Long- 
muir ;  sixth  ward,  Alonzo  Stearns,  Gottlieb  Goetzman ;  seventh  ward,  A.  Er- 
ickson,  H.  G.  Moore ;  eighth  ward,  N.  A.  Stone,  Levi  Palmer ;  ninth  ward,  J. 
Lutes,  O.  L.  Angevine ;  tenth  ward,  G.  Shelton,  Frederick  Vose ;  eleventh 
ward,  J.  C.  Mason,  Christian  Schaefifer ;  twelfth  ward,  H.  Billinghurst,  Patrick 
Barry.     F.  S.  Rew,  clerk. 

1 86 1.  —  First  ward,  J.  Brackett,  W.  F.  Holmes;  second  ward,  D.  A.  Wood- 
bury, B.  Butler;  third  ward,  E.  N.  Buell,  John  H.  Brewster;  fourth  ward,  I. 
S.  Waring,  H.  S.  Hebard ;  fifth  ward,  A.  Longmuir,  N.  C.  Bradstreet ;  sixth 
ward,  G.  Goetzman,  Charles  H.  Williams ;  seventh  ward,  H.  G.  Moore,  Jason 
W.  Seward ;  eighth  ward,  L.  Palmer,  Daniel  Warner ;  ninth  ward,  O.  L.  Ange- 
vine, M.  C.  Mordoff;  tenth  ward,  F.  Vose,  S.  B.  Raymond  ;  eleventh  ward,  C. 
Schaeffer,  John  Cody ;  twelfth  ward,  P.  Barry,  George  N.  Hotchkin.  N.  A. 
Stone,  clerk. 

1862. —  First  ward,  W.  F.  Holmes,  Luther  C.  Spencer;  second  ward,  B. 
Butler,  George  Darling;  third  ward,  J.  H.  Brewster,  E.  N.  Buell;  fourth  ward, 
H.  S.  Hebard,  C.  M.  St.  John ;  fifth  ward,  N.  C.  Bradstreet,  P.  M.  Bromley ; 
sixth  ward,  C.  H.  Williams,  Joseph  Hoffman ;  seventh  ward,  J.  W.  Seward,  H. 
G.  Moore ;  eighth  ward,  D.  Warner,  H.  L.  Fish  ;  ninth  ward,  M.  C.  Mordoff, 
Horace  A.  Palmer;  tenth  ward,  S.  B.  Raymond,  Louis  Ernst;  eleventh  ward, 
John  Cody,  G.  A.  Sidler ;  twelfth  ward,  G.  N.  Hotchkin,  Henry  Hebing.  C. 
N.  Simmons,  clerk. 

1863.  —  First  ward,  L.  C.  Spencer,  Ambrose  Cram;  second  ward,  G.  Dar- 
ling, William  C.  Rowley ;  third  ward,  E.  N.  Buell,  Daniel  D.  T.  Moore ;  fourth 
ward,  C.  M.  St.  John,  Wallace  Darrow ;  fifth  ward,  P.  M.  Bromley,  E.  K.  War- 
ren;  sixth  ward,  J.  Hoffman,  James  O'Maley;  seventh  ward,  H.  G.  Moore, 
James  Upton;  eighth  ward,  H.  L.  Fish,  D.  Warner;  ninth  ward,  H.  A.  Pal- 
mer, M.  C.  Mordoff;  tenth  ward,  L.  Ernst,  Alonzo  Chapman  ;  eleventh  ward, 
G.  A.  Sidler,  Thomas  M.  Flynn ;  twelfth  ward,  H.  Hebing,  Hamilton  McQuat- 
ters.     C.  N.  Simmons,  clerk. 

1864. —  First  ward,  A.  Cram,  L.  C.  Spencer;  second  ward,  W.  C.  Row- 
ley, S.  A.  Hodgeman ;  third  ward,  D.  D.  T.  Moore,  William  H.  Groot ;  fourth 
ward,  W.  Darrow,  G.  S.  Copeland ;  fifth  ward,  E.  K.  Warren,  N.  C.  Brad- 
street; sixth  ward,  J.  O'Maley,  Joseph  Schutte ;  seventh  ward,  J.  Upton,  Row- 
land Milliman ;  eighth  ward,  D.  Warner,  H.  L.  Fish ;  ninth  ward,  M.  C.  Mor- 
doff, H.  A.  Palmer;  tenth  ward.  A.'  Chapman,  William  Wagner;  eleventh 
ward,  T.  M.  Flynn,  G.  A.  Sidler ;  twelfth  ward,  H.  McQuatters,  H.  Hebing ; 
thirteenth  ward,  George  P.  Draper,  Lawrence  Sellinger.  B.  Frank  Enos, 
clerk. 

1865,-^ First  ward,  L.  C.  Spencer,  A.  Cram;  second  ward,  Joseph  Qual- 


iQo  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

trough,  George  B.  Harris;  third  ward,  W.  H.  Groot,  William  Hollister;  fourth 
ward,  G.  S.  Copeland,  Stephen  Remington ;  fifth  ward,  Martin  Heberger,  E. 
K.  Warren;  sixth  ward,  J.  Schutte,  Joseph  Beir;  Seventh  ward,  R.  Milliman, 
William  H.  Gorsline ;  eighth  ward,  H.  L.  Fish,  George  Taylor ;  ninth  ward, 
H.  A.  Palmer,  W.  D.  Callister ;  tenth  ward,  W.  Wagner,  John  Quin ;  eleventh 
ward,  G.  A.  Sidler,  T.  M.  Flynn ;  twelfth  ward,  H.  Hebing,  H.  McQuatters; 
thirteenth  ward,  L.  Sellinger,  G.  P.  Draper.     B.  F.  Enos,  clerk. 

1 866.  —  First  ward,  A.  Cram,  L.  C.  Spencer ;  second  ward,  G.  B.  Harris, 
J.  Qualtrough;  third  ward,  W.  Hollister,  W.  H.  Groot;  fourth  ward,  S.  Rem- 
ington, John  Graham;  fifth  ward,  E.  K.  Warren,  William  Guggenheim;  sixth 
ward,  J.  Beir,  Herman  Mutschler;  seventh  ward,  W.  H.  Gorsline,  David  Cope- 
land  ;  eighth  ward,  George  Taylor,  M.  M.  Brown ;  ninth  ward,  W.  D.  Callister, 
James  H.  Kelly ;  tenth  ward,  J.  Quin,  Cyrus  F.  Paine ;  eleventh  ward,  T.  M. 
Flynn,  F.  Adelman ;  twelfth  ward,  H.  McQuatters,  B.  Horcheler ;  thirteenth 
ward,  G.  P.  Draper,  John  Mauder;  fourteenth  ward,  H.  S.  Hogoboom.  B.  V. 
Enos,  clerk. 

1867.  ^ First  ward,  L.  C.  Spencer,  A.  Cram;  second  ward,  J.  Qualtrough, 
J.  Lutes;  third  ward,  W.  H.  Groot,  Ezra  R.  Andrews;  fourth  ward,  J.  Graham. 
S.  Remington ;  fifth  ward,  W.  Guggenheim,  William  Carroll ;  sixth  ward,  H. 
Mutschler,  Lodo'wick  F.  Relyea ;  seventh  ward,  D.  Copeland,  William  Ratt ; 
eighth  ward,  M.  M.  Brown,  G.  Taylor ;  ninth  ward,  J.  H.  Kelly,  Patrick  Burke  ; 
tenth  ward,  C.  F.  Paine,  S  R.  Woodruff;  eleventh  ward,  F.  Adelman,  Robert 
R.  Charters ;  twelfth  ward,  B.  Horcheler,  A.  Bingemer ;  thirteenth  ward,  J. 
Mauder,  Henry  Miller;  fourteenth  ward,  Cornelius  R.  Parsons,  J.  Quin.  B.  F. 
Enos,  clerk. 

1868.  —  First  ward,  A.  Cram,  A.  G.  Whitcomb;  second  ward,  J.  Lutes,  J. 
Qualtrough  ;  third  ward,  E.  R.  Andrews,  H.  E.  Rochester ;  fourth  ward,  S. 
Remington,  G.  W.  Crouch  ;  fifth  ward,  W.  Carroll,  James  Cochrane  ;  sixth  ward, 
L.  F.  Relyea,  William  Sidey ;  .seventh  ward,  W.  Ratt,  C.  A.  Jeffords ;  eighth 
ward,  G.  Taylor,  Patrick  Caufield  ;  ninth  ward,  P.  Burke,  W.  S.  Thompson ; 
tenth  ward,  S.  R.  Woodruff,  Elijah  Withall ;  eleventh  ward,  R.  R,  Charters,  J.-  P. 
Roche;  twelfth  ward,  A.  Bingemer,  F.  S.  Stebbins ;  thirteenth  ward,  H.  Miller, 
John  Mauder;  fourteenth  ward,  J.  Quin,  C.  R.  Parsons.  R.  H.  Schooley, 
clerk. 

1869.  —  First  ward,  A.  G.  Whitcomb,  C.  W.  Briggs;  second  ward,  J.  Qual- 
trough, John  Barker;  third  ward,  H.  E.  Rochester,  E.  R.  Andrews;  fourth 
ward,  G.  W.  Crouch,  S.  Remington;  fifth  ward,  J.  Cochrane,  William  Caring; 
sixth  ward,  W.  F.  Morrison,  L.  F.  Relyea ;  seventh  ward,  C.  A.  Jeffords,  Philip 
J.  Meyer ;  eighth  ward,  P.  Caufield,  Henry  H.  Craig ;  ninth  ward,  W.  S.Thomp- 
son, John  H.  Wilson ;  tenth  ward,  E.  Withall,  S.  R.  Woodruff;  eleventh  ward, 
J.  P.  Roche,  Jacob  Gerling;  twelfth  ward,  F.  S.  Stebbins,  Edward  Dagge  ;  thir- 
teenth ward,  J.  Mauder  John  Nagle ;  fourteenth  ward,  C.  R.  Parsons,  William 
Aikenhead.     R.  H.  Schooley,  clerk. 


City  Civil  List.  191 


1870.  —  First  ward,  C.  W.  Briggs,  A.  G.  Whitcomb;  second  ward,  J.  Bar- 
ker, George  Wait ;  third  ward,  E.  R.  Andrews,  H.  T.  Rogers ;  fourth  ward,  S. 
Remington,  George  Herzberger ;  fifth  ward,  W.  Caring,  M.  M.  Smith  ;  sixth 
ward,  L.  F.  Relyea,  G.  W.  Connolly ;  seventh  ward,  P.  J.  Meyer,  E.  A.  Glover; 
eighth  ward,  H.  H.  Craig,  N.  A.  Stone ;  ninth  ward,  J.  H.  Wilson,  J.  H.  Kelly ; 
tenth  ward,  S.  R.  Woodruff,  W.  Mandeville ;  eleventh  ward,  J.  Gerling,  R.  R. 
Charters;  twelfth  ward,  E.  Dagge,  F.  S.  Stebbins;  thirteenth  ward,  J.  Nagle, 
J.  Mauder;  fourteenth  ward,  W.  Aikenhead,  C.  R.  Parsons.  Wm.  F.  Morri- 
son, clerk. 

1871.  —  First  ward,  A.  G.  Whitcomb,  George  W.  Aldridge ;  second  ward, 
G.  Wait,  R.  K.  Gould  ;  third  ward,  H.  T.  Rogers,  Charles  F.  Pond ;  fourth  ward, 
G.  Ilcrzbergcr,  Michael  Ilcavcy ;  fifth  ward,  Owen  F.  Fee,  W.  Caring;  sixth 
ward,  G.  W.  Connolly,  Abram  Stern ;  seventh  ward,  E.  A.  Glover,  Robert  Y. 
McConnell ;  eighth  ward,  N.  A.  Stone,  H.  H.  Craig ;  ninth  ward,  J.  H.  Kelly, 
L.  Selye ;  tenth  ward,  Wesley  Mandeville,  John  Stape ;  eleventh  ward,  R.  R. 
Charters,  J.  Gerling;  twelfth  ward,  F.  S.  Stebbins,  Valentine  F.  Whitmore  ; 
thirteenth  ward,  J.  Mauder,  Frederick  Stade  ;  fourteenth  ward,  C.  R.  Parsons, 
W.  Aikenhead.     W.  F".  Morrison,  clerk. 

1872. — F'irst  ward,  G.  W.  Aldridge,  John  Cowles ;  second  ward,  R.  K. 
Gould,  James  O.  Howard  ;  third  ward,  C.  F.  Pond,  H.  T.  Rogers  ;  fourth  ward, 
M.  Heavey,  John  Gorton ;  fifth  ward,  W.  Caring,  O.  F.  Fee ;  sixth  ward,  A. 
Stern,  G.  W.  Connolly;  seventh  ward,  R.  Y.  McConnell,  Charles  C.  Meyer; 
eighth  ward,  H.  H.  Craig,  W.  W.  Croft;  ninth  ward,  L.  Selye,  J.  H.  Kelly; 
tenth  ward,  J.  Stape,  J.  H.  Nellis  ;  eleventh  ward,  J.  Gerling,  Thomas  Mitchell ; 
twelfth  ward,  V.  F.  Whitmore,  E.  H.  C.  Griffin ;  thirteenth  ward,  F.  Stade,  J. 
Mauder ;  fourteenth  ward,  W.  Aikenhead,  J.  Philip  Farber.  W.  F.  Morrison, 
clerk. 

1873. — First  ward,  J.  Cowles,  G.  W.  Aldridge;  second  ward,  J.  O.  How- 
ard, A.  H.  Cushman ;  third  ward,  H.  T.  Rogers,  John  McMullen ;  fourth  ward, 
J.  Gorton,  G.  Herzberger;  fifth  ward,  O.  F.  Fee,  Henry  Brinker;  sixth  ward, 
G.  W.  Connolly,  A.  Stern ;  seventh  ward ;  C.  C.  Meyer,  W.  G.  Anthony ; 
eighth  ward,  W.  W.  Croft,  D.  M.  Anthony ;  ninth  ward,  J.  H.  Kelly,  William 
Shelp ;  tenth  ward,  J.  H.  Nellis,  John  Bower ;  eleventh  ward,  T.  Mitchell, 
George  Fleckenstein ;  twelfth  ward,  E.  H.  C.  Griffin,  V.  F.  Whitmore ;  thir- 
teenth ward,  J.  Mauder,  J.  Margrander  ;  fourteenth  ward,  J.  P.  Farber,  F.  S. 
Skuse.     W.  F".  Morrison,  clerk. 

1874.  —  First  ward,  G.  W.  Aldridge,  William  H.  Tracy;  second  ward, 
A.  H.  Cushman,  J.  O.  Howard ;  third  ward,  J.  McMullen,  George  D.  Lord ; 
fourth  ward,  G.  Herzberger,  Wm.  Whitelock ;  fifth  ward,  H.  Brinker,  Charles 
P.  Bromley;  sixth  ward,  A.  Stern,  William  N.  Emerson;  seventh  ward,  W.  G. 
Anthony,  C.  R.  Parsons ;  eighth  ward,  D.  M.  Anthony,  N.  A.  Stone ;  ninth 
ward,  W.  Shelp,  James  E.  Booth  ;  tenth  ward,  J.  Bower,  Walter  Weldon ;  elev- 


192  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

enth  ward,  G.  Fleckenstein,  M.  J.  Maher ;  twelfth  ward,  V.  F.  Whitmore,  B.  F. 
Thomas;  thirteenth  ward,  J.  Margrander,  J.  Mauder;  fourteenth  ward,  F.  S. 
Skuse,  Louis  P.  Beck;  fifteenth  ward,  Anthony  H.  Martin,  James  Gorsline; 
sixteenth  ward,  M.  H.  Merriman,  S.  Dubelbeiss.     W.  F.  Morrison,  clerk. 

1875. — First  ward,  W.  H.  Tracy,  G.  W.  Aldridge;  second  ward,  J.  O. 
Howard,  Andrew  Nagle;  third  ward,  G.  D.  Lord,  David  H.  Westbury;  fourth 
ward,  W.  Whitelock,  A.  G.  Whitcomb ;  fifth  ward,  C.  P.  Bromley,  H.  Brinker ; 
sixth  ward,  Simon  Hays,  W.  N.  Emerson,  F.  H.  Smith  (to  fill  vacancy) ;  sev- 
enth ward,  C.  R.  Parsons,  F.  S.  Hunn ;  eighth  ward,  N.  A.  Stone,  J.  W.  Mar- 
tin ;  ninth  ward,  J.  E.  Booth,  J.  H.  Kelly ;  tenth  ward,  W.  Weldon,  FIdwin 
Huntington ;  eleventh  ward,  M.  J.  Maher,  G.  Fleckenstein ;  twelfth  ward,  B.  F 
Thomas,  John  McGraw,  2d  ;  thirteenth  ward,  J.  Mauder,  Jacob  Nunnold  ;  four- 
teenth ward,  L.  P.  Beck,  Wm.  S.  Smith  ;  fifteenth  ward,  A.  H.  Martin,  J.  P. 
Rickard ;  sixteenth  ward,  J.  George  Baetzel,  Wm.  E.  Buell.  W.  F".  Morrison, 
clerk. 

1876. — First  ward,  G.  W.  Aldridge,  W.  H.  Tracy;  second  ward,  Andrew 
Nagle,  John  M.  Brown ;  third  ward,  D.  H.  Westbury,  Thomas  Peart ;  fourth 
ward,  A.  G.  Whitcomb,  Nathan  Palmer;  fifth  ward,  H.  Brinker,  Frederick  Mor- 
hardt ;  sixth  ward,  S.  Hays,  Willis  C.  Hadley ;  seventh  ward,  Francis  S.  Hunn, 
G.  A.  Redman;'  eighth  ward,  John  W.  Martin,  A.  H.  Bennett;  ninth  ward,  J. 
H.  Kelly,  E.  B.  Chace ;  tenth  ward,  W.  Weldon,  Edwin  Huntington  ;  eleventh 
ward,  G.  Fleckenstein,  John  Brayer  ;  twelfth  ward,  J.  McGraw,  2d,  Benj.  F. 
Thomas;  thirteenth  ward,  J.  Nunnold,  F.  C.  Lauer,  jr.;  fourteenth  ward,  W.  S. 
Smith,  L.  P.  Beck ;  fifteenth  ward,  A.  H.  Martin,  J.  P.  Rickard  ;  sixteenth  ward, 
J.  Geo.  Baetzel,  Charles  Hilbert.     Edward  Angevine,  clerk. 

1877.  — First  ward,  W.  H.  Tracy ;  second  ward,  Michael  H.  P'itzSimons  ; 
third  ward,  T.  C.  Montgomery ;  fourth  ward,  G.  Herzberger ;  fifth  ward,  E. 
K.  Warren  ;  sixth  ward,  S.  Hays  ;  seventh  ward,  G.  A.  Redman  ;  eighth  ward, 
J.  W.  Martin;  ninth  ward,  E.  B.  Chace;  tenth  ward,  E.  Huntington;  eleventh 
ward,  Nicholas  Kase ;  twelfth  ward,  John  Donivan  ;  thirteenth  ward,  Fred.  C. 
Lauer,  jr.  ;  fourteenth  ward,  W.  S.  Smith ;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  Miller  Kelly ; 
sixteenth  ward,  J.  G.  Baetzel.     Edward  Angevine,  clerk. 

1878.  —  First  ward,  W.  H.  Tracy;  second  ward,  M.  H.  FitzSimons;  third 
ward,  T.  C.  Montgomery;  fourth  ward,  G.  Herzberger;  fifth  ward,  E.  K. 
Warren  ;  sixth  ward,  S.  Hays  ;  seventh  ward,  Charles  T.  Crouch  ;  eighth  ward, 
J.  W.  Martin;  ninth  ward,  E.  B.  Chace;  tenth  ward,  E.  Huntington;  eleventh 
ward,  Rudolph  Vay ;  twelfth  ward,  John  Donivan ;  thirteenth  ward,  Lewis 
Edelman  ;  fourteenth  ward,  W.  S.  Smith  ;  fifteenth  ward,  Joseph  W.  Knobles ; 
sixteenth  ward,  J.  G.  Baetzel.     Edward  Angevine,  clerk. 

1879.  —  First  ward,  W.  H.  Tracy;  second  ward,  M.  H.  FitzSimons;  third 
ward,  D.  H.  Westbury ;  fourth  ward,  L.  M.  Otis ;  fifth  ward,  E.  K.  Warren ; 
sixth  ward,   Henry  Hebing ;  seventh  ward,  C.  T.  Crouch ;  eighth  ward,  Geo. 


City  Civil  List.  193 


Chambers ;  ninth  ward,  E.  B.  Chace ;  tenth  ward,  W.  Mandeville ;  eleventh 
ward,  R.  Vay ;  twelfth  ward,  Philip  Wickens ;  thirteenth  ward,  Lewis  Edel- 
nian  ;  fourteenth  ward,  D.  G.  Weaver;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  W.  Knobles ;  six- 
teenth ward,  J.  J.  Hart.      Edward  Angevine,  clerk. 

1 880. — First  ward,  W.  H.  Tracy ;  second  ward,  M.  H.  FitzSimons ;  third  ward, 
D.  H.  We.stbury;  fourth  ward,  L.  M.  Qtis ;  fifth  ward,  Owen  F.  Fee;  sixth 
ward,  Henry  Hebing;  seventh  ward,  Ira  L.  Otis;  eighth  ward,  Geo.  Chambers; 
ninth  ward,  S.  D.  Walbridge ;  tenth  ward,  W.  Mandeville ;  eleventh  ward, 
John  A.  Felsinger;  twelfth  ward,  P.  Wickens;  thirteenth  ward,  Lewis  Edel- 
man  ;  fourteenth  ward,  D.  G.  Weaver;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  M.  Kelly;  sixteenth 
ward,  J.  J.  Hart.      Lucius  M.  Mandeville,  clerk. 

1 88 1 — W.  H.  Tracy;  second  ward,  Martin  Barron;  third  ward,  D.  H. 
Westbury ;  fourth  ward,  H.  S.  Ransom;  fifth  ward,  O.  F.  Fee;  sixth  ward, 
A.  Stern;  seventh  ward,  I.  L.  Otis;  eighth  ward,  G.  Chambers;  ninth  ward, 
S.  D.  Walbridge;  tenth  ward,  J.  M.  Pitkin;  eleventh  ward,  J.  A.  Felsinger; 
twelfth  ward,  Henry  Rice ;  thirteenth  ward,  L.  Edelman  ;  fourteenth  ward,  W. 
Aikenhead;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  M.  Kelly;  sixteenth  ward,  J.  J.  Hart.  J.  T. 
McMannis,  clerk. 

1 882.  —  First  ward,  Alphonso  Collins  ;  second  ward,  M.  Barron  ;  third  ward, 
Amon  Bronson  ;  fourth  ward,  H.  S.  Ransom  ;  fifth  ward,  George  W.  Archer ; 
sixth  ward,  A.  Stern;  seventh  ward,  C.  A.  Jeffords;  eighth  ward,  G.  Cham- 
bers ;  ninth  ward,  James  A.  Hinds ;  tenth  ward,  J.  M.  Pitkin ;  eleventh  ward, 
J.  A.  l'"clsingcr;  twelfth  ward,  II.  Rice;  thirteenth  ward,  James  T.  Southard; 
fourteenth  ward,  W.  Aikenhead;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  M.  Kelly;  sixteenth  ward, 
J.  J.  Hart.      Frank  N.  Lord,  clerk. 

1883.  —  First  ward,  A.  Collins;  second  ward,  M.  Barron;  third  ward,  A. 
Bronson;  fourth  ward,  Charles  Watson;  fifth  ward,  G.  W.  Archer;  sixth 
ward,  Elias  Strouss  ;  seventh  ward,  C.  A.  Jeffords  ;  eighth  ward,  John  H.  Foley  ; 
ninth  ward,  J.  A.  Hinds;  tenth  ward,  J.  M.  Pitkin  ;  eleventh  ward,  J.  A.  Fel- 
singer; twelfth  ward,  H.  Rice;  thirteenth  ward,  J.  T.  Southard;  fourteenth 
ward,  J.  M.  Aikenhead  ;  fifteenth  ward,  J.  M.  Kelly  ;  sixteenth  ward,  John  B. 
Simmelink.      F.  N.  Lord,  clerk. 

City  Treasurers.  —  The  following  are  the  names  of  the  city  treasurers,  in 
order:  1834,  E.  F.  Marshall;  1835,  Theodore  Sedgwick;  183(5,  Erasmus  D. 
Smith;  1837,  W.  E.  Lathrop  ;  1838,  E.  F.  Marshall ;  1839-40-41-42,  Eben 
N.  Jkiell;  1843-44,  James  M.  Fi.sh  ;  1 845-46,  Hiram  Wright ;  1847,  Matthew 
G.  Warner;  1848,  Clarence  H.  Sweet;  1849-50,  Elbert  W.  Scrantom ;.  185  i- 
52-53-54,  Charles  M.  St.  John  ;  1855-56,  P.M.Bromley;  1857-58,  Abram 
Karnes;  1859-60,  William  E.  Lathrop ;  1861-62,  Thomas  Hawks  ;  1863-64, 
Chri-stopher  T.  Amsden  ;  1865-66-67-68-69-70,  Harvey  P.  Langworthy  ; 
,  87 , -72-73-74,  John  Williams ;  1 875-76-77-1-78-79-80,  George  D.  Williams  ; 
1880-81-82-83-84,  Ambrose  McGlachlin. 


194  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Police  Justices: — The  following-named  have  presided  over  the  criminal 
court  for  the  trial  of  minor  offenses:  Sidney  Smith,  from  June,  1834,  to  Jun^. 
1836;  Ariel  Wentworth;  from  1836  to  1840,  and  from  1844  to  1848  ;  Matthew 
G.Warner,  1840  to  1844;  S.  W.  D.  Moore,  1848  to  1856;  Butler  Bardwell, 
1856  to  i860;  John  Wegman,    i860  to    1865  ;  E.  W.  Bryan,  1865  to  1873  ; 

A.  G.Wheeler,    1873   to    1877,  and  1881  to  the  present  time  )  George  Trues- 
dale,  1877  to  1 88 1. 

Supervisors.  — The  following  are  the   names   of  the  supervisors  from  the 
city  of  Rochester  in   each  year,  those  serving  during  the  first  two  years  being 
■  elected  from  the  city  at  large,  after  which  an  amendment  to  the  charter  allowed 
a  supervisor  to  be  chosen  in  each  ward  : — 

1834.  —  Erasmus  D.  Smith,  A.  M.  Schermerhorn,  Horace  Hooker. 
1835. — Joseph  Medbery,  Charles  J.  Hill,  Jared  Newell. 

1836.  —  First  ward,  Maltby  Strong  ;  'second  ward,  Joseph  Medbery  ;  third 
ward,  Thomas  H.  Rochester  ;  fourth  ward,   Elisha  Johnson  ;   fifth  ward,  Elisha 

B.  Strong. 

1837.  —  First  Ward,  Lyman  B.  Langworthy  ;  second  ward,  John  Williams; 
third  ward,  T.  H.  Rochester ;  fourth  ward,  James  H.  Gregory  ;  fifth  ward, 
Jared  Newell. 

1838.  —  First  ward,  Thomas  J.  Patterson  ;  second  ward,  Elijah  F.  Smith; 
third  ward,  E.  D.  Smith  ;  fourth  ward,  Thomas  Kempshall ;  fifth  ward,  Horace 
Hooker. 

1839. — First  ward,  Alfred  Hubbell ;  second  ward,  E.  F.  Smith;  third 
ward,  Everard  Peck  ;  fourth  ward,  J.  W.  Smith  ;  fifth  ward,  Levi  A.  Ward. 

1840 — First  ward,  A.  Hubbell ;  second  ward,  Seth  C.  Jones  ;  third  ward, 
James  M.  Fish;  fourth  ward,  William  Griffith;   fifth  ward,  L.  A.  Ward. 

1 841 .  —  First  ward,  Eleazar  Conkey  ;  second  ward,  John  Allen  ;  third  ward, 
J.  M.  Fish;  fourth  ward,  John  Hawks;  fifth  ward,  Rufus  Keeler. 

1842.  —  First  ward,  E.  Conkey;  second  ward,  J.  Allen;  third  ward,  J.  M. 
Fish ;  fourth  ward,  Asahel  S.  Beers ;   fifth  ward,  R.  Keeler. 

1843.  —  First  ward,  Samuel  B.  Dewey ;  second  ward,  William  Buell ;  third 
ward,  Simon  Traver;  fourth  ward,  Schuyler  Moses;  fifth  ward,  Peter  W. 
Jennings. 

1844. — First  ward,  John  Haywood;  second  ward,  William  W.  Alcott; 
third  ward,  Henry  Cady ;  fourth  ward,  Robert  Haight;  fifth  ward,  E.  B. 
Strong. 

1845.  —  Four  new  wards  were  added  to  the  city  in  this  year,  but  the  city's 
representation  in  the  board  of  supervisors  was  not  increased  till  1853, the  divis- 
ion being  for  eight  years  by  districts,  as  follows:  First  ward,  Ambrose  Cram  ; 
second  and  ninth  wards,  George  H.  Mumford ;  third  and  eighth  wards,  E.  F. 
Smith  ;  fourth  and  seventh  wards,  Matthew  G.  Warner ;  fifth  and  sixth  wards, 
P.  W.  Jennings. 


City  Civil  List.  195 


1846.  —  First  ward,  John  Haywood;  second  and  ninth  wards,  G.  H.  Mum- 
ford  ;  third  and  eighth  wards,  Samuel  Miller ;  fourth  and  seventh  wards,  John 
Miller ;  fifth  and  sixth  wards,  William  B.  Alexander. 

1847.  —  First  ward,  Johnson  I.  Robins;  second  and  ninth  wards,  Joel  P. 
Milliner  ;  third  and  eighth  wards,  Zina  H.  Benjamin  ;  fourth  and  seventh  wards, 
John  Miller ;  fifth  and  sixth  wards,  David  R.  Barton. 

1 848.  —  First  ward,  John  Haywood  ;  second  and  ninth  wards,  J.  P.  Mil- 
liner ;  third  and  eighth  wards,  William  H.  Cheney  ;  fourth  and  seventh  wards, 
Thomas  B.  Husband ;   fifth  and  sixth  wards.  Philander  G.  Tobey. 

1 849. -.- First  ward,  John  Haywood;  second  and  ninth  wards,  John  Crom- 
bie;  third  and  eighth  wards,  E.  F.  Smith;  fourth  and  seventh  wards,  T.  B. 
Husband  ;  fifth  and  sixth  wards,  Harvey  Humphrey. 

1850.  —  First  ward,  Lansing  B.  Swan;  second  and  ninth  wards,  J.  Crom- 
bie ;  third  and  eighth  wards,  James  Chappell ;  fourth  and  seventh  wards,  M.  G. 
Warner;   fifth  and  sixth  wards,  Mitchel  Loder. 

1851.  —  First  ward,  George  Gould;  second  and  ninth  wards,  J.  Crombie ; 
third  and  eighth  wards,  C.  J.  Hill ;  fourth  and  seventh  wards,  James  C.  Camp- 
bell ;  fifth  and  sixth  wards,  M.  Loder. 

1852.  —  First  ward,  John  Whitney;  second,  Lewis  Selye  ;  third,  Nathaniel 
T.  Rochester ;  fourth,  Simon  L.  Brewster ;  fifth,  Joshua  Conkey ;  sixth,  Rob- 
ert Syme  ;  seventh,  William  I.  Hanford  ;  eighth,  Zina  H.  Benjamin  ;  ninth,  W. 
Barron  Williams;  tenth,  eleventh  and  twelfth,  Hubbard  W.  Jones. 

1853.  —  First  ward,  Abram  Karnes ;  second,  Ezra  Jones  ;  third,  C.  J.  Hill ; 
fourth,  Alonzo  K.  Amsden  ;  fifth,  J.  Conkey ;  sixth,  R.  Syme ;  seventh,  John 
Rigney ;  eighth,  Asa  B.  Hall ;  ninth,  Daniel  Gatens ;  tenth,  eleventh  and 
twelfth,  George  Peck. 

1854.  —  First  ward,  Thomas  Kempshall ;  second,  William  E.  Lathrop  ; 
third,  Samuel  Miller ;  fourth,  Alvah  Strong ;  fifth,  J.  Conkey ;  sixth,  R.  Syme  ; 
seventh,  John  H.  Babcock ;  eighth,  Henry  L.  Fish  ;  ninth,  James  C,  Cochrane ; 
tenth,  eleventh  and  twelfth,  Wm.  B.  Alexander. 

1855.  —  First  ward,  Henry  Churchill ;  second,  George  Arnold  ;  third,  C.  J. 
Hill;  fourth,  Harvey  Prindle;  fifth.  Philander  G.  Tobey;  sixth,  Hiram  Davis; 
seventh,  J.  H.  Babcock ;  eighth,  Henry  B.  Knapp ;  ninth,  Lysander  Farrar ; 
tenth,  eleventh  and  twelfth,  James  L.  Angle. 

1856. — First  ward,  John  Haywood;  second,  George  Arnold;  third,  J. 
Crombie ;  fourth,  Edward  Roggen  ;  fifth,  N.  C.  Bradstreet ;  sixth,  H.  Davis  ; 
seventh,  Aaron  Erickson ;  eighth,  William  Cook ;  ninth,  D.  Gatens ;  tenth, 
eleventh  and  twelfth,  David  Wagner. 

1857. — First  ward,  William  S.  Thompson;  second,  John  H.  Thompson; 
third,  William  Churchill ;  fourth,  Hiram  Smith  ;  fifth,  J.  Rigney  ;  sixth,  Robert 
R.  Harris;  seventh,  Jarvis  M.  Hatch  ;  eighth,  Sidney  Church  ;  ninth,  D.  Gatens; 
tenth,  eleventh  and  twelfth,  D.  Wagner. 


196  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

1858.  —  First  ward,  W.  S.  Thompson  ;  second,  Hamlet  D.  Scrantom  ;  third, 
W.  Churchill;  fourth,  James  McMannis;  fifth,  William  R.  Gififord;  sixth,  John 
G.  Wagner ;  seventh,  Alex.  W.  Miller ;  eighth,  S.  W.  D.  Moore ;  ninth,  Fran- 
cis Brown ;  tenth  and  twelfth,  H.  W.  Jones ;  eleventh,  Charles  Wilson. 

1859. —  First  ward,  Benj.  M.  Baker;  .second,  H.  D.  Scrantom ;  third, 
Amon  Bronson ;  fourth,  Octavius  P.  Chamberlain;  fifth,  Wm.  W.  Bruff ;  sixth, 
George  C.  Maurer ;  seventh,  M.  G.  Warner ;  eighth,  Joel  B.  Bennett ;  ninth,  O. 
L.  Angevine ;  tenth,  H.  W.  Jones  ;  eleventh,  Francis  A.  Adelman  ;  twelfth, 
Philip  J.  Meyer. 

i860.  —  First  ward,  B.  M.  Baker;  second,  J.  H.*Thompson  ;  third,  A.  Bron- 
son ;  fourth,  William  McCarthy ;  fifth,  William  Carroll ;  sixth,  Evan  Evans ; 
seventh,  Edward  M.  Smith ';  eighth,  Benjamin  McFarlin  ;  ninth,  Thonfias  C. 
Gilman  ;  tenth,  Louis  Ernst;  eleventh,  Jacob  Waldele ;.  twelfth,  Lyman  Mun- 
ger. 

1861.  —  First  ward,  Hamlin  Stilwell ;  second,  Samuel  M.  Hildreth  ;  third, 
A.  Bronson  ;  fourth,  Wm.  H.  Burtis ;  fifth,  W.  Carroll ;  sixth,  William  Shep- 
herd ;  seventh,  E.  M.  Smith  ;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin  ;  ninth,  T.  C.  Gilman  ;  tenth, 
Daniel  B.  Loder ;  eleventh,  Augustus  Haungs ;  twelfth,  Alex.  McWhorter. 

1862.  —  F"irst  ward,  H.  Stilwell ;  second,  Wm.  C.  Rowley  ;  third,  A.  Bron- 
son ;  fourth,  George  N.  Deming ;  fifth,  PatHck  J.  Dowling ;  sixth,  William 
Sidey ;  seventh,  Edwin  Taylor  ;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin  ;  ninth,  John  H.  Wilson  ; 
tenth,  Henry  Suggett ;  eleventh,  A.  Haungs ;  twelfth,  Patrick  Barry. 

1863.  —  First  ward,  H.  Stilwell:  second,  Ezra  Jones;  third,  A.  Bronson; 
fourth,  G.  S.  Copeland  ;  fifth,  Patrick  ConoUy;  sixth,  W.  Sidey;  .seventh,  E. 
Taylor ;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin  ;  ninth,  L.  Selye ;  tenth,  D.  Wagner ;  eleventh, 
Frederick  Zimmer ;  twelfth,  James  L.  Angle  ;  thirteenth,  John  Seeder. 

1864.  —  First  ward,  Dudley  D.  Palmer;  second,  Ezra  Jones;  third,  A. 
Bronson ;  fourth,  H.  S.  Redfield ;  fifth,  P.  Conolly  ;  sixth,  Chas.  H.  Williams ; 
seventh,  Byron  M.  Hanks ;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin ;  ninth,  Wm.  J.  Sheridan  ; 
tenth,  DeWitt  C.  Ellis;  eleventh,  J.  W.~  Phillips;  twelfth,  P.  Barry;  thirteenth. 
Philander  Davis. 

1865. — First  ward,  H.  Stilwell;  second  Ezra  Jones;  third,  A.  Bronson; 
fourth,  W.  V.  K.  Lansing ;  fifth,  P.  Conolly ;  sixth,  C.  H.  Williams ;  seventh, 
D.  B.  Beach ;  eighth,  S.  Lewis ;  ninth,  L.  Selye ;  tenth,  A.  H.  Billings ;  elev- 
enth, Louis  Bauer ;  twelfth,  Alex.  ,McWhorter ;  thirteenth.  Christian  Widman  ; 
fourteenth,  Samuel  S.  Partridge. 

1866.  —  First  ward,  Henry  Churchill ;  second,  Ezra  Jones;  third,  A.  Bron- 
son ;  fourth,  H.  S.  Redfield  ;  fifth,  P.  Conolly ;  sixth,  C.  H.  Williams  ;  seventh, 
F.  De  W.  Clarke ;  eighth,  S.  Lewis ;  ninth,  L.  Selye ;  tenth,  A.  H.  Billings ; 
eleventh,  Chas.  S.  Baker;  twelfth,  A.  McWhorter;  thirteenth,  C.  Widman ; 
fourteenth,  S.  S.  Partridge. 

1867.  —  First  ward,  Joseph  Curtis  ;  second,  George  Arnold ;  third,  A.  Bron- 


City  Civil  List.  197 


son;  fourth,  Wm.  S.  Kimball;  fifth,  P.  Conolly;  sixth,  Joseph  Schutte;  seventh, 
J.  W.  Seward  ;  eighth,  Daniel  Warner  ;  ninth,  L.  Selye  ;  tenth,  George  Preck  ; 
eleventh,  L.  Bauer;  twelfth,  George  V.  Schaffer;  thirteenth,  C.  Widman  ;  four- 
teenth, John  Stewart. 

1 868.  —  First  ward,  Charles  H.  Stilwell ;  second,  John  Barker ;  third,  Thos. 
C.  Montgomery ;  fourth,  J.  C.  Campbell ;  fifth,  P.  Conolly ;  sixth,  J.  Schutte ; 
seventh.  Porter  W.  Taylor;  eighth,  D.  Warner;  ninth,  M.  S.  Fairchild;  tenth, 
Isaiah  F.  Force;  eleventh,  L.  Bauer;  twelfth,  George,  EUwanger;  thirteenth, 
George  P.  Davis ;  fourteenth,  J.  Stewart. 

1869.  —  First  ward,  H.  Churchill;  second,  Thomas  T.  Sprague  ;  third,  T.  C. 
Montgomery;  fourth,  James  Kane,  sr.  ;  fifth,  William  Guggenheim;  sixth, 
Quincy  Van  Voorhis ;  seventh,  P.  W.  Taylor;  eighth,  M.  J.  Glenn;  ninth,  C. 
S.  Baker;  tenth,  D.  C.  Ellis;  eleventh,  Thomas  M.  Flynn ;  twelfth,  Joseph  L. 
Luckey;  thirteenth,  Henry  S.  Brown;  fourteenth,  J.  Stewart. 

1 870.  —  First  ward,  H.  Churchill ;  second,  G.  Arnold  ;  third,  T.  C.  Mont- 
gomery ;  fourth,  J.  Kane,  sr. ;  fifth,  Michael  Kolb  ;  sixth,  Q.  Van  Voorhis ;  sev- 
enth, P.  W.  Taylor ;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin  ;  ninth,  C.  S.  Baker ;  tenth,  D.  C.  Ellis  ; 
eleventh,  T.  M.  Flynn ;  twelfth,  J.  L.  Luckey  ;  thirteenth,  Frederick  Loebs  ; 
fourteenth,  J.  Stewart. 

1 87 1.  —  First  ward,  L.  A  Pratt ;  second,  T.  T.  Sprague  ;  third,  T.  C.  Mont- 
gomery ;  fourth,  Lyman  M.  Otis ;  fifth,  W.  W.  Bruff;  sixth,  Q.  Van  Voorhis  ; 
seventh,  Frank  N.  Lord;  eighth,  Charles  P.  Achilles;  ninth,  Addison  N.  Whit- 
ing; tenth,  D.  C.  Ellis;  eleventh,  Thomas  Mitchell;  twelfth^  John  W.  Deuel; 
thirteenth,  F.  Loebs ;  fourteenth,  Richard  H.  Warfield. 

1872.  — First  ward,  Alonzo  G.  Whitcomb  ;  second,  Charles  A.  Pool ;  third, 
James  L.  Brewster ;  (appointed  by  council  in  place  of  Wm.  Carson,  deceased); 
fourth.  Royal  L.  Mack  ;  fifth,  George  J.  Knapp  ;  sixth,  Francis  Boor  ;  seventh, 
George  F.  Loder ;  eighth,  Nicholas  Brayer ;  ninth,  William  C.  Stone ;  tenth, 
I.  F.  Force;  eleventh,  Geo.  B.  Swikehard ;  twelfth,  Henry  Bender;  thirteenth, 
C.  Widman  ;  fourteenth,  Abram  Boss. 

1873.  —  I'^irst  ward,  Frank  W.  Embry;  second,  C,  A.  Pool;  third,  Henry 
E.  Rochester;  fourth,  John  B.  Hahn  ;  fifth,  Heqian  S.  Brewer ;,  sixth,  F.  Boor; 
seventh,  G.  F.  Loder;  eighth,  Wm.  F.  Parry;  ninth,  Thomas  McMillan  ;  tenth, 
Bernard  Haag;  eleventh,  Jacob  Gerling;  twelfth,  William  C.  Barry  ;  thirteenth, 
Frederick  C.  Lauer,  jr.  :  fourteenth,  Chas.  F.  Hetzel. 

1874.  —  First  ward,  Wm.  F.  Holmes;  second,  Ansel  A.  Cornwall;  third, 
H.  E.  Rochester;  fourth,  J.  B.  Hahn;  fifth,  John  Dufner;  sixth,  F.  Boor;  sev- 
enth, Chas.  H.  Webb  ;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin  ;  ninth,  Frederick  Miller  (appointed 
in  place  of  Horace  W.  Jewett,  resigned) ;  tenth,  Douglass  Hovey ;  eleventh, 
J.  GerHng;  twelfth,  Nicholas  Cutberlet ;  thirteenth,  John  Nothaker ;  fourteenth, 
Wm.  H.  Dake;  fifteenth,  John  C.  O'Brien;  sixteenth,  Henry  E.  Boardman 
(last  two  appointed  by  comrnpn  council). 


198  History  of  the  City  of  Rochestetr. 

1875.  —  First  ward,  L.  A.  Pratt;  second,  C.  A.  Pool;  third,  H.  E,  Roch- 
ester; fourth,  Henry  S.  Hebard;  fifth,  J.  Dufner;  sixth,  WilHs  C.  Hadley; 
seventh,  C.  H.  Webb;  eighth,  B.  McFarlin;  ninth,  F.  Miller;  tenth,  Daniel 
Lowrey;  eleventh,  J.  Gerling;  twelfth,  George  V.  Schaffer;  thirteenth,  F"rank 
X.  Bradler ;  fourteenth,  W.  H.  Dake ;  fifteenth,  Henry  KHnkhammer ;  six- 
teenth, George  J.  Farber. 

1 876.  —  First  ward,  L.  A.  Pratt ;  second,  James  Day ;  third,  Chas.  F.  Pond  ; 
fourth,  James  E.  Hayden ;  fifth,  Charles  Englert;  sixth,  Samuel  Rosenblatt; 
seventh,  C.  H.  Webb ;  eighth,  William  Wright ;  ninth,  George  W.  Jacobs ;  tenth, 
Daniel  Lowrey ;  eleventh,  John  Greenwood ;  twelfth,  G.  V.  Schaffer ;  thir- 
teenth, Olaf  Oswald ;  fourteenth,  W.  H.  Dake ;  fifteenth,  H.  Klinkhammer ; 
sixteenth,  Henry  B.  McGonegal. 

1877.  —  First  ward,  L.  A.  Pratt;  second,  Thomas  Pryor ;  third,  C.  F. 
Pond ;  fourth,  J.  E.  Hayden ;  fifth,  C.  Englert ;  sixth,  William  S.  Falls ; 
seventh,  C.  H.  Webb ;  eighth,  W.  Wright ;  ninth,  G.  W.  Jacobs ;  tenth,  Ethan 
A.  Chase  (appointed  in  place  of  A.  N.  Whiting,  deceased) ;  eleventh,  Thomas 
McAnarney ;  twelfth,  William  Gibbs ;  thirteenth,  O.  Oswald ;  fourteenth,  W. 
H.  Dake ;  fifteenth,  James  H.  Curran ;  sixteenth,  H.  B.  McGonegal. 

1878.  —  First  ward,  L.  A.  Pratt;  second,  Michael  M.  Keenan.;  third,  C.  F. 
Pond;  fourth,  ]'.  E.  Hayden;  fifth,  William  Emerson;  sixth,  W.  S.  Falls; 
seventh,  Maxey  N.  Van  Zandt ;  eighth,  Leonard  Henkle ;  ninth,  G.  W.  Jacobs  ; 
tenth,  Harvey  C.  Jones;  eleventh,  Reuben  Punnett ;  twelfth,  W.  Gibbs;  thir- 
teenth, O.  Oswald ;  fourteenth,  John  J.  Burke ;  fifteenth,  J.  H.  (Jurran ;  six- 
teenth, H.  B.  McGonegal. 

1879.  —  First  ward,  William  W.  Carr ;  second,  M.  M.  Keenan  ;  third,  Frank 
M.  Bottum;  fourth,  J.  E.  Hayden;  fifth,  C.  Englert;  sixth,  W.  S.  Falls; 
seventh,  George  Heberling;  eighth,  Maurice  Leyden ;  ninth,  G.W.Jacobs; 
tenth,  H.  C.  Jones;  eleventh,  John  Brayer;  twelfth,  Conrad  Eisenberg;  thir- 
teenth, John  A.  P.  Walter;  fourteenth,  Thomas  Crane  ;  fifteenth,  J.  H.  Curran  ; 
sixteenth,  John  W.  Stroup. 

1880. —  First  ward,  James  W.  Clark;  second,  James  Day;  third,  F.  M. 
Bottum ;  fourth,  J.  E.  Hayden ;  fifth,  Conrad  Bachman ;  sixth,  Joseph  Hoff- 
man ;  seventh,  G.  Heberling ;  eighth,  Bernard  O'Kane ;  ninth,  Martin  Joiner ; 
tenth,  H.  C.  Jones;  eleventh,  J.  Brayer;  twelfth,  Philip  Welder;  thirteenth, 
J.  A.  P.  Walter;  fourteenth,  T.  Crane;  fifteenth,  Anthony  H.  Martin;  six- 
teenth, Alexander  Button. 

1 88 1. —  First  ward,  J.  W.  Clark;  second,  George  Wait;  third,  F.  M.  Bot- 
tum; fourth,  Charles  Watson;  fifth,  C.  Bachman;  sixth,  Abram  J.  Cappon  ; 
seventh,  G.  Heberling;  eighth,  B.  O'Kane;  ninth,  M.  Joiner;  tenth,  Henry  E. 
Shaffer;  eleventh,  J.  Brayer;  twelfth,  P.  Weider;  thirteenth,  J.  A.  P.  Walter; 
fourteenth,  Thomas  Gosnell;  fifteenth,  A.  H.  Martin;  sixteenth,  A.  Button. 

1882. —  First  ward,  Dwight  Knapp ;  second,  Conrad  B.  Denny;  third,  F. 


County  and  Other  Officers  from  Rochester.  199 


M.  Bottum ;  fourth,  C.  Watson ;  fifth,  George  Caring  (appointed  in  place  of  C. 
Hachman,  deceased) ;  sixth,  William  Perry ;  seventh,  Charles  C.  Meyer ;  eighth, 
JamesP.  Tumility;  ninth,  M.  Joiner;  tenth,  George  Weldon  ;  eleventh,  William 
Wolz;  tw^elfth,  P.  Weider;  thirteenth,  Stephen  Rauber;  fourteenth,  T.  Gos- 
nell ;  fifteenth,  Henry  Kondolph ;  sixteenth,  John  Vogt. 

1883.  —  First  ward,  D.  Knapp ;  second,  George  B.  Wesley;  third,  Thomas 
Peart;  fourth,  Charles  B.  Ernst;  fifth,  Roman  Ovenburg;  sixth,  Valentine 
Hetzler;  seventh,  C.  C.  Meyer;  eighth,  James  P.  Tumility;  ninth,  M.  Joiner; 
tenth,  Bartholomew  Keeler;  eleventh,  W.  Wolz;  twelfth,  D.  Clinton  Bar- 
num;  thirteenth,  Carl  F.  Gottschalk;  fourteenth,  T.  Gosnell;  fifteenth,  John 
Foos  ;  sixteenth,  Chauncey  Nash. 

1884. —  First  ward,  E.  F.  Stilwell ;  second,  G.  B.  Wesley;  third,  George 
Morgan;  fourth,  C.  B.  Ernst;  fifth,  George  Caring;  sixth,  Abrani  Stern; 
seventh,  C.  C.  Meyer;  eighth,  J.  P.  Tumihty;  ninth,  p-rederick  E.  Conway; 
tenth,  B.  Keeler ;  eleventh,  John  Brayer ;  twelfth,  D.  C."  Barnum ;  thirteenth, 
James  H.  Brown;  fourteenth,  T.  Gosnell;  fifteenth,  George  J.  Held;  sixteenth, 
Oscar  F.  Brown. 

County  officers  do  not  properly  come  within  the  civil  list  of  a  municipal 
corporation,  but,  as  Rochester  is  the  county  seat,  and  the  county  officers  are 
therefore  located  here,  it  seems  better  to  insert  them  in  this  place  with  the  year 
in  which  they  went  into  office,  and  to  give,  as  well,  the  list  of  supervisors  from 
the  city  (as  has  been  done  above),  and  of  state  senators,  members  of  Assembly 
and  representatives  in  Congress,  in  all  cases  from  the  city  alone.  The  county 
judicial  officers — judges,  surrogates  and  district-attorneys  —  will  be  found 
named  in  order  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  the  bench  and  bar. 

Sheriffs. —  1821,  James  Seymour;  1823,  John  T.  Patterson;  1826,  James 
Seymour;  1829,  James  K.  Livingston;  1832,  Ezra  M.  Parsons;  1835,  Elias 
I'ond;  1838,  Darius  Pcrrin;  1 841,  Charles  L.  Pardee;  1844,  Hiram  Sibley; 
1847,  George  Hart;  1850,  Octavius  P.  Chamberlain;  1853,  Chauncey  B. 
Woodworth;  1856,  Alexander  Babcock;  1859,  Hiram  Smith;  1862,  Jcseph 
H.  Warren;  1865,  Alonzo  Chapman;  1868,  Caleb  Moore;  1869,  Isaac  V. 
Sutherland  (appointed  in  place  of  Moore,  deceased);  1870,  Joseph  B.  Camp- 
bell; 1873,  Charles  S.  Campbell;  1876,  Henry  E.  Richmond;  1879,  James  K. 
Burlingame;    1882,  Francis  A.  Schoeffel. 

County  Clerks.  —  1821,  Nathaniel  Rochester;  1823,  Elisha  Ely;  1826, 
Simon  Stone,  2d;  1829,  William  Graves;  1832,  Leonard  Adams;  1835,  Sam- 
uel G.  Andrews ;  1838,  Ephraim  Goss;  1841,  James  W.  Smith  ;  1844,  Charles 
J.  Hill;  1847,  John  C.  Nash;  1850,  John  T.  Lacy;  1853,  W.  Barron  Williams  ; 
1856,  William  N.  Sage ;  1859,  Dyer  D.  S.  Brown;  1862,  Joseph  Cochrane 
1865,  George  H.  Barry;  1868,  Charles  J.  Powers;  1871,  Alonzo  L.  Mabbett;' 
1874,  John  H.  Wilson;  1877  and  i88o,  Edward  A.  Frost;  1883,  Henry  D. 
McNaughton. 


200  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

County  Treasurers.  —  No  record,  so  far  as  can  be  ascertained,  has  been 
kept  in  any  form,  printed  or  written,  of  the  early  treasurers  of  Monroe  county, 
nor  are  their  names  obtainable  from  the  records  of  the  board  of  supervisors, 
by  whom  they  were  elected  before  1 848,  for  the  reason  that  those  records  are 
not  in  existence  in  their  original  form,  nor  can  printed  copies  be  found  of  more 
than  a  very  few  of  those  ancient  years  —  so  that  the  list  of  supervisors  above 
given  had  to  be  made  up  in  part  from  the  original  records  (which  are  complete 
and  well  preserved  in  the  city  clerk's  office)  of  the  proceedings  of  the  common 
council,  which  acted  as  a  board  of  canvassers.  The  first  treasurer  was  S. 
Melancton  Smith,  and  after  him  were  Frederick  Whittlesey,  William  S.  Whit- 
tlesey, William  McKnight  and  William  Kidd,  the  last  of  whom  held  the  office 
for  six  or  eight  years.  The  first  to  be  elected  by  the  people  was  Lewis  Selye, 
who  entered  upon  the  office  in  1849  and  again  in  1855,  after  William  H.  Per- 
kins had  held  it  for  the  intermediate  term.  In  1858  Jason  Baker  went  in,  in 
1864  Samuel  Schofield,  in  1867  George  N.  Deming,  in  1873  Charles  P.  Achil- 
les, in  1876  James  Harris  and  in  1879  Alexander  McVean,  the  present  incum- 
bent. 

State  Senators.  —  No  member  of  the  state  Senate  was  sent  from  either  the 
village  or  the  city  of  Rochester  till  1844,  when  Frederick  F.  Backus  was  elected, 
serving  for  four  years;  the  next  was  Samuel  Miller,  in  1848;  the  others  were 
William  S.  Bishop,  in  1854;  Lysander  Farrar,  in  1862;  George  G.  Munger, 
in  1864;  Thomas  Parsons,  in  1866;  Lewis  H.  Morgan,  in  1868;  William  N. 
Emerson,  in  1876;  George  Raines,  in  1878;  Charles  S.  Baker,  in  1884 — each, 
except  Dr.  Backus,  for  one  term  of  two  years. 

Members  of  Assembly.  —  1822,  Nathaniel  Rochester;  1823,  Simon  Stone; 
1824,  Enos  Stone  ;  1825  and  1830,  Thurlow  Weed  ;  1826,  Vincent  Mathews  ; 
1827,  Abelard  Reynolds;  1828  and,  1833,  Timothy  Childs ;  1829,  Heman 
Norton;  1831  and  1832,  Samuel  G.  Andrews;  1834,  Flatcher  M.  Haight ; 
183s,  1837,  1838  and  1840,  Derick  Sibley;  1836,  Horace  Gay;  1839,  William  S. 
Bishop;  1841,  Alexander  Kelsey ;  1842,  Frederick  Starr;  1843,  Robert 
Haight;  1844,  Ashley  Sampson;  1845,  1846  and  1847,  William  C.  BIoss; 
1848,  A.  M.  Schermerhorn ;  1849  and  1850,  L.  Ward  Smith;  1851,  William 
A.  Fitzhugh;  1852,  Joel  P.  Milliner;  1853,  Orlando  Hastings ;  1854,  James 
L.  Angle;  1855,  John  W.  Stebbins  ;  1856,  1862  and  1863,  Eliphaz  Trimmer; 
1857,  John  T.  Lacy;  1858,  Thomas  Parsons;  1859  and  i860,  Elias  Pond ; 
1 86 1,  Lewis  H.  Morgan;  1864  and  1865,  John  McConvill ;  1866,  Henry  R. 
Selden;  1867,  Henry  Cribben ;  1868  and  1869,  Nehemiah  C.  Bradstreet ; 
1870,  1876  and  1877,  James  S.  Graham;  1871  and  1872,  George  D.  Lord; 
1873,  Henry  L.  Fish;  1874  and  1875,  George  Taylor  ;  1878,  EHas  Mapes  ; 
1879,  1880  and  1882,  Charles  S.  Baker;  1881,  John  Cowles ;  1883,  David 
Healy ;    1 884,  Charles  R.  Pratt;. 

Members  of  Congress.  —  The  following  are  the  names  of  congressional  rep- 


The  Fire  Department..  201 


resentatives  from  this  district  who  were  residents  of  this  city  at  the  time  of  their 
election,  with  the  year  in  which  the  congressional  term  of  each  one  began  : 
1823,  William  B.  Rochester ;  1827,  Daniel  D.  Barnard  ;  1 829,  Timothy  Childs  ; 
,1831  and  1833,  Frederick  Whittlesey  ;  1835  and  1837,  Timothy  Childs;  1839, 
Thomas  Kempshall;  1841,  Timothy  Childs;  1849  and  1851,  A.  M.  Scher- 
merhorn  ;  1853,  Azariah  Boody  ;  1855,  John  Williams  ;  1857,  Samuel  G.  An- 
drews ;  1859  and  1 86 1,  Alfred  Ely;  1863,  Freeman  Clarke ;  1865,  Roswell 
Hart;  1 867,  Lewis  Selye ;  1871  and  1873,  Freeman  Clarke ;  1875,  John  M. 
Davy;    1879  and  1881,  John  Van  Voorhis ;    1883,  Halbert  S.  Greenleaf. 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 

THE  FIRE  DEPARTMENT.! 

Its  History  fiom  the  Beginning  —  The  App.tiatus  in  Early  Times  —  The  First  F"ire  Company  — 
The  Old  Volunteer  Department  —  Its  (llories  ami  its  Misdeeds  —  The  I'rotectives,  Alerts  and  Actives 
—  The  Firemen's  Henevolent  Association  —  Dedication  of  the  Monument  —  List  of  Chiefs  and  As- 
sistants —  The  Fire  Record. 

IN  a  previous  chapter  mention  has  been  made  of  the  organisation  of  a  fire 
department  for  the  little  settlement,  and  the  choice  of  Messrs.  Hart,  Kemp- 
shall,  Bond,  Wakelee  and  Brown  as  fire  wardens  at  the  first  village  election  in 
the  spring  of  1 817.  Their  duty  was  not  only  to  enforce  the  ordinances  which 
looked  to  the  prevention  of  fires  but  to  superintend  the  efforts  for  their  ex- 
tinguishment after  they  had  broken  out,  to  form  the  line  of  citizens  who  rushed 
to  the  scene,  each  with  the  fire-bucket  which  he  was  compelled  to  own,  and  to 
direct  the  rapid  and  judicious  passage  of  those  primitive  appliances  down  the 
line.  This  arrangement  was  soon  seen  to  be  inadequate,  and  on  the  19th  of 
October,  in  the  same  year,  the  first  fire  company  was  organised,  with  the  fol- 
lowing members :  Everard  Peck,  William  P.  Sherman,  Josiah  Bissell,  Albert 
Backus,  Roswell  Hart,  Jehiel  Barnard,  Isaac  Colvin,  Hastings  R.  Bender, 
libenezer  Watts,  Moses  Chapin,  Daniel  Mack,  William  Cobb,  Horace  Bates,  Ros- 
well Babbitt,  Gideon  Cobb,  Daniel  Warren,  Jedediah  Safford,  William  Brewster, 
Reuben  Darrow,  Ira  West,  Caleb  L.  Clarke,  Davis  C.  West,  CharlesJ.  Hill.  Daniel 
Mack  was  chosen  foreman.  Of  all  these  fire-laddies  not  one  remains  on  earth, 
the  last  to  go  being  the  otie  who  stood  at'  the  end  of  the  list  in  the  original 
record  and  who  was  the  last  to  answer  the  final  roll-call  —  Charles  J.  Hill,  who 
died  in  August,  1883.     An  engine  was  purchased,  a  poor  affair  into  which  the 

1  In  the  ]>reparation  of  this  chapter  the  editor  has  heen  aided  by  articles  of  Edward  Angevine, 
which  a|)peared  in  the  daily  press  a  few  years  ago  ;  by  a  manual  of  the  department  prepared  in  1882 
by  II.  \V.  Mathews,  L.  M.  Newton  and  (J.  I!.  Harris,  and  by  the  personal  kindness  of  Mr.  Mathews. 


202  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

water  had  to  be  poured  from  buckets,  for  it  had  no  suction  hose,  but  a  house 
was  built  for  it  on  Court-House  square  and  it  was  not  till  1820  that  the  machine 
needed  repairs,  when  $9.25  was  voted  for  that  purpose,  and  in  the  same  year  the 
board  of  village  trustees  appropriated.  $120  "to  purchase  and  repair  fire  uten- 
sils, such  as  buckets,  hooks,  ladders,  etc.,  and  to  build  a  shelter  for  the  ladders." 
In  1 82 1  the  engine-house  was  removed  to  Aqueduct  street,  and  the  first  rope 
for  the  fire-  hooks  was  purchased  at  an  expense  of  eight  dollars,  a  vote  of  all 
the  inhabitants  being  deemed  necessary  for  the  purpose.  The  first  fire-truck 
was  obtained  in  1824,  when  fifty  dollars  was  voted  for  the  purpose  of  procur- 
ing one  or  more  fire-ladders  to  be  placed  on  wheels  ;  the  next  year  four  hundred 
and  seventy  dollars  was  paid  for  a  new  engine,  the  house  for  which,  costing 
one  hundred  dollars,  was  located  in  Bugle  alley,  where  the  Corinthian  Academy 
of  Music  now  stands,  and  a  report  was  made  to  the  fire-wardens  by  Frederick 
Starr  and  Gilbert  Evernghim,  who  had  been  previously  appointed  a  committee 
to  organise  a  volunteer  fire  department,  as  up  to  that  time  the  firemen  were 
rather  appointees  of  the  wardens  and  acting  under  their  orders. 

The  volunteer  department  may  be  said  to  date  its  existence  from  the  5th  of 
May,  1826,  for  on  that  day  the  board  of  trustees  of  the  village  accepted  the 
following  persons  and  issued  certificates  to  them,  assigning  them  to  the  com- 
panies mentioned :  — 

Engine  company  number  i.  —  Addison  Gardiner,  Alpheus  Bingham,  John  S. 
Smith,  Silas  E.  Griffith,  Thomas  Matthews,  Jacob  Strawn,  James  Frazer,  Ebenezer  Watts, 
William  Bender,  Everard  Peck,  Charles  J.  Hill,  Daniel  D.  Hatch,  Hervey  Ely,  Elisha 
Taylor,  Elias  Beach,  Nathan  Mead,  William  Haywood,  Jacob  Gould,  Robert  King, 
John  Swift, Thomas  Kempshall,  Asa  Mardn,  Simeon  P.  Olcott,  S.  L.  Merrill,  Gilbert  Ev- 
ernghim, James  K.  Livingston,  John  C.  Munn,  William  Rathbun,  John  Haywood,  Jesse 
Congdon,  Timothy  Kempshall. 

Engine  company  number  2.-^  Anson  House,  Davis  C.  West,  Giles  Boulton,  H. 
Crandall,  Dennis  P.  Brown,  Joseph  P.  King,  Frederick  Starr,  William  Bliss,  Abner  Wake- 
lee,  E.  H.  Grover,  Chauncey  Eaton,  C.  W.  Barnard,  E.  S.  Curtis,  John  T.  Wilcox,  W. 
G.  Russell,  Stephen  Charles,  John  Colby,  Volney  Chapin,  Roswell  Bush,  Charles  M. 
Lee,  William  Atkinson,  Jabez  Ranney,  Joseph  Halsey,  Moses  Barnard,  Butler  Bardwell, 
Tiflfany  Hunn,  Jeremiah  Williams,  Abner  Ward. 

Hook  and  ladder  company. —  C.  A.  Van  Slyke,  Phelps  Smith,  E.  J.  Cummins,  John 
Bingham,  Archibald  Hotchkiss,  Daniel  Tinker,  Henry  Bush,  Barney  Bush,  Josiah 
Tower,  Nathan  Lyman,  Phelps  Smith,  foreman. 

At  the  same  time  the  president  of  the  board  appointed  the  first  committee 
on  the  fire  department,  consisting  of  Vincent  Mathews  and  William  Brewster, 
and  Samuel  Works  was  elected  the  first  chief-engineer,  a  man  of  extraordinary 
activity,  of  perfect  fearlessness  and  of  great  presence  of  mind,  admirably  adapted 
for  such  a  post.  Harvey  Leonard,  proprietor  of  the  "  Merchants'  Exchange 
tavern,"  which  stood  where  the  Young  Men's  Catholic  association  building 
now  is,  was  the  first  to  be  complained  of  for  violating  the  ordinances,  but  he 
was  let  off  with  a  reprimand. 


The  Village  Fire  Department.  203 

The  next  year  saw  quite  an  advance  in  fire  matters;  the  village  trustees 
ordered  the  chief-engineer  to  purchase  a  new  engine  at  a  cost  not  exceeding 
$1,200 ;  three  months  later  Mr.  Works,  who  must  have  been  an  officer  of  mar- 
velous moderation  in  the  expenditure  of  public  money,  reported  that  he  had 
bought  a  new  engine  for  $716,  and  also  that  he  had  expended  $216  for  300  feet 
of  hose.  In  October  a  new  volunteer  company  was  organised  by  those  living 
in  the  second  ward  (Frankfort),  with  William  Rathbun  as  foreman  and  B.  H. 
Brown  as  assistant.  It  was  mustered  into  service  as  fire  company  number  3, 
but  the  engine  assigned  to  it  was  the  little  old  one,  bought  ten  years  before, 
while  the  new  machine  was  called  number  2  and  given  to  that, company,  known 
by  the  name  of  "Torrent."  The  first  inspection  of  the  department  took  place 
in  October,  the  engines  and  the  truck  being  ordered  to  appear  for  that  purpose 
in  "Mumford  meadow;"  in  the  same  month  the  trustees  ordered  that  fire  en- 
gine number  i  be  located  near  the  First  Presbyterian  church,  that  engine  num- 
ber 2  be  placed  near  the  blacksmith  shop  opposite  Blossom's  tavern  on  Main 
street  (where  the  Osburn  House  stood  in  later  years),  and  that  number  3  ("Red 
Rover")  be  housed  near  the  intersection  of  Piatt  and  State  streets.  The  oc- 
currence of  fires  was  evidently  carefully  guarded  against,  for  in  this  year  Mel- 
ancton  Smith,  one  of  the  fire  wardens,  reported  that  several  stove-pipes  in  the  lit- 
tle theater  on  State  street  were  in  a  dangerous  condition.  The  growth  of  the  vil- 
lage rendered  it  necessary  in  1830  to  appoint  an  assistant  to  the  chief-engineer, 
and  the  man  selected  was  William  H.  Ward,  who  two  years  later  succeeded  Mr. 
Works  as  chief  In  January,  1 83 1 ,  number  4  (  "Cataract ")  oame  into  existence 
as  a  company,  with  Joseph  Field,  Fletcher  M.  Haight,  Henry  E.  Rochester, 
Daniel  Loomis,  Levi  W.  Sibley  and  James  K.  Livingston  among  its  members ; 
later  in  the  year  company  number  5  ("Rough  and  Ready")  was  organised, 
with  Ashbel  W.  Riley,  Selah  Mathews,  Edwin  Scrantom,  Anson  House  and 
eighteen  others  on  the  original  roll ;  many  of  these  must  have  dropped  out  within 
a  few  years,  for  in  1847  number  5  di.sbandcd  as  a  company;  the  engine  house 
was  in  the  barn  of  A.  W.  Riley  in  rear  of  Court  street.  In  1833  company  num- 
ber 6  was  organised,  with  its  engine  house  in  Pindell  alley,  but  the  members 
were  so  dissatisfied  with  the  location  that  the  trustees  a  year  later  removed  it  to 
Fitzhugh  street  (where  the  Alert  hose  now  has  its  quarters),  paying  $150  for 
removing  the  old  house  and  refitting  it.  Here  old  "Protection  6"  was  housed, 
with  "Pioneer"  hook  and  ladder  company  number  i  (afterward  called  "Em- 
pire"), until  the  final  dissolution  of  the  volunteer  department,  both  the  engine 
and  the  truck  occupying  the  ground  floor  and  having  separate  session-rooms 
up  stairs.  The  original  roll  of  number  6  had  thirty-one  members,  among 
them  William  Ailing,  A.  J.  Langworthy  (afterward' chief-en*gineer),  John  Chris- 
topher and  Francis  M.  Marshall.  In  the  year  before  this  the  first  little  disturb- 
ance had  occurred  in  the  department,  companies  i  and  5  having  a  serious 
quarrel  over  the  possession  of  a  new  machine  which  had  been  made  by  Lewis 

14 


204  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Selye.  So  mutinous  idid  the  latter  company  become  that  it  was  disbanded  by 
the  village  trustees  and  reorganised  the  next  year.  In  1833  the  first  exemption 
papers  were  granted,  Frederick  Starr  and  Joseph  Halsey  receiving  those  pre- 
ciou,s 'documents. 

The  city  government  came  into  existence  in  1834,  but  no  startling  change 
was  made  in  fire  matters.  John  Haywood  and  Abelard  Reynolds  were  chosen 
by  the  common  council  as  fire  wardens  for  the  first  ward,  John  Jones  and 
Willis  Kempshall  for  the  second  ward,  Erasmus  D.  Smith  and  Thomas  H. 
Rochester  for  the  third,  Nehemiah  Osburn  and  Obadiah  M.  Bush  for  the  fourth, 
Marshall  Burton  and  William  Colby  for  the  fifth.  W.  H.  Ward  was  elected 
chief-engineer,  with  Theodore  Chapin  and  Kilian  H.  Van  Rensselaer  as  his 
assistants ;  in  September  hook  and  ladder  company  number  2  was  organised 
with  thirty  members,  and  located  on  the  east  side  of  the  river;  $1,500  was  put 
in  the  tax  levy  this  year  for  the  support  of  the  fire  department.  A  hose  com- 
pany, called  the  "^Etna,"  after  the  name  of  engine  company  number  i,  was 
formed  in  1835,  with  L.  B.  Swan,  Heman  Loomis,  George  A.  Wilkin  and  A. 
S.  Wakelee  among  the  members.  Several  disastrous  fires  in  1837  had  aroused 
the  citizens  to  a  sense  of  the  importance  of  increasing  the  efficiency  of  the  de- 
partment, and  in  1838  a  number  of  additions  were  made.  Two  bucket  com- 
panies were  organised,  with  George  B.  Benjamin,  Justin  M.  Loder  and  W.  H. 
Enos  among  the  members  of  the  first,  and  S.  W.  D.  Moore,  Gabriel  Longmuir 
and  D.  C.  Ailing  on  the  roll  of  the  second;  an  engine,  tub  and  hose  company 
also  came  into  being,  with  George  W.  Parsons  and  nine  other  members. 
"Storm  7"  now  makes  its  appearance,  the  first  engine  company  organised 
under  the  city  charter,  with  Newell  A.  Stone,  Henry  Haight,  F.  W.  Backus, 
Thomas  Hawks  and  James  L.  Elwood  among  its  original  members.  Its  name 
was  not  inapt  from  the  first,  and  its  restless  disposition  caused  its  disbandment 
within  a  year  of  its  foundation.  Being  reformed  (in  one  sense)  it  became  located 
in  January,  1843,  on  "Cornhill,"  where  it  led  anything  but  a  quiet  life;  reor- 
ganised in  1853,  it,  was  again  di.sbanded  five  years  later,  and  again  reorganised 
on  the  same  day.  When  the  war  broke  out.  in  1861,  and  volunteers  were 
called  for  by  President  Lincoln,  an  entire  company  of  the  "Old  Thirteenth" 
was  formed  out  of  the  members  of  "Storm  7,"  with  William  Tulley  as  captain, 
Michael  McMuUen  as  first  lieutenant,  and  Jerry  A.  Sullivan  as  second  lieuten- 
ant—  a  completeness  of  record  not  equaled  by  any  other  fire  company  in  this 
locality,  even  by  "Red  Rover  3,"  though  great  numbers  of  that  body  enlisted 
under  Frank  A.  Schoeffel  and  Law  S.  Gibson,  now  respectively  sheriff  of  this 
county  and  chief-engineer  of  the  department.  In  the  month  of  November, 
1838,  "Osceola  8," "also,  was  organised,  with  Lewis  Selye,  James  McMuUen,  J. 
M.  Southwick,  Orrin  Harris  and  others  as  the  charter  members;  originally 
located  on  Piatt  street,  it  was  afterward  moved  to  Mill  street ;  disbanded  in  1853, 
it  was  reorganised  in  the  same  year  as  "Columbia  8,"  was  again  disbanded 


DiSBANDMENT  OF  THE  VOLUNTEER  FiRE  DEPARTMENT.  205 

in  1856,  and  reorganised  a  year  or  two  later  as  "Live  Oak  8,"  being  located 
on  Alexander  street,  near  Mount  Hope  avenue.  "Champion  9,"  the  last  of 
the  volunteer  engine  companies  in  date  of  organisation,  was  chartered  iti  April, 
1848,  and  disbanded  in  July,  1853.  The  engine  lay  on  Main  street,  between 
Clinton  and  Lancaster. 

The  glory  of  the  volunteer  fire  department  has  passed  away,  and  its  disre- 
pute has  gone  with  it;  "the  noise  of  the  captains,  and  the  shouting,"  are  no 
more ;  order  reigns,  instead  of  discord,  and  conflagrations  are  extinguished 
without  the  disturbance  of  the  public  peace.  In  this  city,  as  in  other  places, 
the  excesses  of  many  firemen  brought  disgrace  upon  the  department ;  not  only 
were  drunkenness  and  fighting  the  usual  concomitants  and  consequents  of  every 
respectable  fire,  but  the  flames  were  often  kindled  by  the  hands  that  were  to 
suppress  them,  and  one  incendiary  fireman  served  a  long  term  in  state  prison 
as  the  reward  of  his  crimes.  With  all  this,  no  body  of  men  ever  existed  that 
could  show  a  brighter  record  of  courage,  of  endurance,  of  brilliant  heroism  and 
sublime  devotion  to  duty.  Their  virtues  and  their  vices  are  bound  together, 
and  where  blame  is  given,  praise  should  go  with  it,  hand  in  hand.  As  con- 
necting the  old  department  with  the  new,  three  organisations  of  proved  effi- 
ciency and  trustworthiness  should  now  be  mentioned  —  The  Protectives,  the 
Alerts  and  the  Actives. 

On  the  evening  of  the  23d  of  August,  1858  —  a  few  days  after  the  general 
disbandment  of  the  old  volunteer  department,  which  occurred  after  the  fire  that 
destroyed  Minerva  hall  —  in  response  to  two  calls  made  through  the  daily 
papers,  a  meeting  of  business  men  was  held  in  the  mayor's  office,  and  another 
in  the  city  clerk's  office,  one  to  organise  what  is  now  known  as  the  I'rotcctivcs 
aiid  the  other  for  the  formation  of  a  hose  company. 

The  Protectives  perfected  their  organisation  at  once,  the  company  —  or 
association,  as  it  was  then  called  —  having  as  an  object  for  its  formation,  as  im- 
plied by  the  name,  and  as  set  forth  in  the  first  article  of  its  constitution,  the 
removal  of  property  from  burning  buildings,  or  buildings  in  dangerous  prox- 
imity to  fire,  and  the  protection  thereof  by  an  efficient  and  responsible  guard 
during  the  confusion  incident  to  such  occasions;  also,  the  extinguishing  of  fires 
when  practicable.  The  first  officers  of  the  Protectives  (or  Protective  sack  and 
bucket  company  number  I,  the  explicit  name  of  the  association)  were:  George 
W.  Parsons,  foreman ;  William  A.  Hubbard,  first  assistant  foreman ;  James 
Terry,  second  assistant ;  Roswell  Hart,  president ;  A.  M.  Hastings,  vice-presi- 
dent; George  H.  Humphrey,  secretary;  William  H.  Ward,  treasurer,  and 
Joseph  B.  Ward,  director  in  the  Firemen's  Benevolent  association.  Their 
quarters  were  under  Corinthian  hall,  on  Mill  street,  and  were  provided  for 
them  by  the  city.  They  entered  service  with  an  active  roll  of  forty  members. 
The  apparatus  of  the  company,  a  four-wheeled  carriage,  designed  especially 
for  their  needs,  was  drawn  by  hand,  and  from  its  peculiar  shape  it  was  at  once 


2o6  History  of  the  City  of  Rociiestkr. 

called  "the  hearse."  In  this  carriage  were  carried  a  number  of  pieces  of  can- 
vas, several  canvas  sacks,  and  a  large  number  of  leather  buckets,  their  only 
means  of  fighting  fire.  The  Protectives  soon  proved  themselves  a  worthy  ad- 
junct to  the  department  by  the  removal,  in  many  instances,  of  complete  stocks 
of  goods.  The  guard  also  provided  for  goods  thus  saved  found  favor  at  once 
with  the  merchants,  who,  previous  to  this  in  case  of  fire,  were  in  quite  as  much 
danger  of  loss  by  theft  as  from  the  elements  themselves.  Continuing  prosper- 
ity favored  the  young  company  for  the  next  few  years,  until  the  war  of  the 
rebellion  called  for  the  very  best  members  of  such  an  organisation.  The  first 
to  enlist  were  spared  by  the  redoubled  efforts  of  their  remaining  brothers,  but, 
as  member  after  member  left  to  take  the  place  of  those  who  had  fallen  —  and 
they  were  many  —  the  company  commenced  to  falter,  and  for  a  period  it  could 
scarcely  be-  said  to  live ;  at  last,  however,  with  the  return  of  the  survivors  of 
that  terrible  struggle,  nqw  life  was  infused,  and  the  company  found  that  their 
quarters  were  not  suitable. 

In'  1866  they  purchased  a  lot  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Mill  and  Market 
streets,  and  erected  a  three-story  building  thereon  for  their  own  use.  March 
2Sth,  1868,  they  were  incorporated  by  a  special  act  of  the  legislature.  New 
appliances  for  extinguishing  fires  were  now  coming  into  use,  and  in  1870  two 
chemical  fire  extihguishers  superseded  the  buckets,  and  from  this  time  forward 
the  company  were  enabled  to  compete  with  other  branches  of  the  department, 
owing  to  this  valuable  invention.  For  several  succeeding  years  the  compan)' 
continued  to  grow,  and  adopt  such  changes  as  were  brought  about  by  the  im- 
proved system  of  the  last  decade ;  two  modern  carriages  had  in  turn  superseded 
the  old  hearse,  and  the  bunk-room,  with  its  regular  bunkers,  was  now  an  ab- 
solute necessity.  Composed  of  the  fleetest  and  strongest  runners,  midnight 
fires  were  now  hailed  with  delight,  and,  while  the  desire  to  strictly  obey  the 
call  to  duty  was  as  strong  as  ever  in  their  breasts,  the  love  for  their  company, 
and  the  determination  not  to  retrograde,  caused  these  young  champions  of 
their  city's  welfare  to  accept  not  only  the  rivalry  of  other  volunteer  organisa- 
tions, but  that  of  their  greatest  competitor,  the  paid  department. 

In  1881,  the  quarters  of  this  company  again  proving  inadequate  for  the 
realisation  of  certain  hopes  for  the  future,  to  further  their  plan  they  sold  to  one 
of  their  members  the  property  then  occupied  by  them,  and  moved  into  tem- 
porary quarters  at  number  17  Mill  street,  in  a  building  owned  by  the  Butts 
estate.  Completing  the  purchase  of  a  valuable  lot  on  the  east  side  of  North 
Fitzhugh  street,  a  short  distance  from  West  Main,  with  the  proceeds  of  the  sale 
of  the  Market  street  property,  negotiations  were  commenced  with  the  city  for 
the  erection  of  a  suitable  building,  and  the  proper  equipment  of  the  same. 
Partially  successful  in .  their  efforts,  the  city  having  decided  to  appropriate 
$10,000  for  the  erection  of  a  house,  the  members  felt  that  they  could  now  look 
forward  with  certainty  to  the  fulfillment  of  their  fondest  hopes,  namely,  the 


The  Protectives.  207 


establishing  of  the  company  on  the  plan  of  the  insurance  patrol  companies  of 
the  large  cities  of  this  country.  We  say  they  were  only  partially  successful  in 
their  efforts,  and  for  this  reason.  Estimates  from  the  plans  adopted  by  the 
company  clearly  proved  that  the  appropriation  was  not  large  enough  to  com- 
plete the  building,  but  in  the  following  spring  the  city  appropriated  nearly 
$5,000  additional,  which  finished  a  building  that  is  now  regarded  a  model  of 
beauty  and  convenience.  Much  still  remained  to  be  done,  as  the  heating  ap- 
paratus, plumbing  and  gas-fitting  were  not  included  in  the  builder's  contract. 
The  house  must  also  be  furnished  in  order  to  make  it  serviceable  for  the  pur- 
pose intended.  In  this  extremity  the  company  decided  to  ask  the  insurance 
companies  doing  business  in  the  city  and  also  the  business  men  to  aid  them,  and 
in  September,  1881,  appointed  a  committee  which  issued  a  circular  showing  the 
record  of  the  company  from  1859  to  date.  By  this  act  the  company  received 
from  the  insurance  companies  $1,136.25,  and  the  business  men  attested  their 
appreciation  of  the  company's  efforts  in  their  behalf  by  subscribing  the  sum  of 
$2,557.86,  a  total  of  $3,694.05,  all  of  which  was  expended  on  the  house  and  its 
furniture.  May  25th,  1882,  the  company  took  possession  of  its  new  home  and 
formally  opened  the  same  about  a  month  later.  The  rapid  growth  of  the  city 
now  demanded  greater  service  from  the  company,  and  the  executive  board 
decided  to  furnish  them  with  a  patrol  wagon  and  horses  and  two  drivers  and 
lay  aside  the  hand  carriage  then  in  use.  August  i8th,  1882,  witnessed  the 
change  from  the  old  style  to  the  new,  and  the  company,  not  without  regrets, 
gave  up  the  rivalry  that  had  heretofore  formed  part  of  their  very  existence. 
The  following  persons  have  held  the  office  of  foreman :  George  W.  Parsons, 
Wm.  A.  Hubbard,  Lyman  M.  Newton,  Wm.  R.  Brown,  E.  A.  Jaquith,  Dwight 
H.  Wetmore,  Samuel  B.  Williams,  A.  M.  Semple,  Henry  D.  Stone,  L.  H.  Van- 
Zandt,  J.  H.  Coplin,  John  Craighead,  Herbert  S.  King,  S.  J.  Rogers,  Wm.  R. 
Pool,  E.  B.  Bassett,  R.  W.  Bemish,  A.  M.  Bristol,  C.  P.  Dickinson,  Frank  W. 
Kinscy.  The  present  officers  of  this  organisation  are  :  Frank  W.  Kinsey,  fore- 
man ;  John  R.  Kelly,  first  assistant  foreman ;  Charles  J.  Allen,  second  assist- 
ant ;•  Albert  M.  Bristol,  president;  Herbert  S.  King,  vice-president;  Edmund 
J.  Burke,  recording  secretary  ;  Samuel  B.  Williams,  financial  secretary ;  John  T. 
Roberts,  treasurer;   Rev.  Wm.  H.  Piatt,  chaplain. 

The  present  members  of  the  company  are  divided  into  the  honorary  roll, 
requiring  twelve  years'  service  in  the  company,  numbering  seventeen ;  an  ex- 
empt roll  of  eleven,  a  roll  of  five  associate  members  and.  the  active  roll  of  twen- 
ty-five members,  in  all  fifty-eight  members,  with  two  drivers,  who  are  hired  by 
the  city,  and  a  steward  paid  by  the  company. 

In  conclusion,  a  brief  summary  of  the  work  done  by  this  company  will  show 
the  public  on  what  grounds  they  have  asked  and  received  such  substantial 
proofs  of  their  appreciation.  During  the  twenty-six  years  of  their  life  as  a  com- 
pany they  have  responded  to  more  than  1,700  alarms  and  have  done  duty  at 


2o8  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

nearly  1,400  actual  fires,  and  records  in  possession  of  the  fire  marshals  and  the 
company  show  that  the  property  saved  or  removed  by  the  direct  efforts  of  the 
company  amount  to  many  hundred  thousand  dollars  —  a  remarkable  showing  of 
a  remarkable  company,  standing  alone,  as  it  does,  the  only  company  in  the 
United  States  performing  volunteer  fire  patrol  duty,  while  not  deriving  any 
benefit  from  the  insurance  companies.  The  members  receive  no  compensation 
for  their  services  and  the  running  expenses  are  borne  by  the  city  government. 
This  is  but  another  instance  of  the  city's  watchful  care  of  its  business  interests. 
The  organisation  of  the  Alert  or  City  hose  number  i,  the  latter  being  the 
first  name  of  this  company,  was  perfected  September  7th,  1858,  by  electing 
E.  W.  Farrington,  foreman ;  Herbert  Churchill,  assistant  foreman ;  John  P. 
Humphrey,  secretary;  Abram  Karnes,  treasurer;  and  W.  H.  Cross  director  of 
the  Firemen's  Benevolent  association — the  foreman  acting  as  president  during 
the  meetings  of  the  company.  Mr.  Farrington  was  an  old  New  York  fireman 
and  did  much  toward  setting  the  company  on  the  high  road  to  success.  The 
other  original  members  were :  Charles  H.  Clark,  Morris  Smith,  Wm.  S.  Grant- 
synn  and  Walter  Sabey.  The  Alerts  were  quartered  under  Corinthian  hall 
block  on  Mill  street,  being  next  north  of  the  Protectives.  Here  they  remained 
until  1866,  when  they  were  forced  to  vacate,  and,  the  common  council  not  pro- 
viding them  with  a  house,  they  stored  their  carriages  and  for  a  few  months  did 
no  fire  duty,  although  holding  regular  meetings  in  a  room  rented  by  them  for 
that  purpose  in  Baker's  block.  They  soon  tired  of  this  and  made  up  their 
mind  to  have  a  house  at  their  own  expense,  and  a  committee  soon  secured 
quarters  in  a  new  block  on  the  east  side  of  Front  street.  Possession  was  taken 
on  February  1st,  1867,  and  they  were  again  "Ever  Ready,"  that  being  the 
company  motto.  The  company  numbered  at  this  time,  active,  exempt  and 
honorary  members,  in  all  about  forty.  In  the  latter  part  of  1874  the  city 
erected  a  carriage  house  for  them  on  the  site  of  the  old  house  formerly  occu- 
pied by  "Protection"  6  and  "Empire"  hook  and  ladder  number  i.  This  is  a 
three- story  house,  with  carriage  room  and  reading-room  on  the  first  floor; 
bunk  room,  containing  six  double  beds,  locker  room,  bath-room  and  closet  on 
the  second  and  an  elegant  session-room  and  company  locker  on  the  third.  It 
was  completed  about  January  ist,  1875.  The  company  immediately  set  about 
furnishing  it  at  their  own  expense,  and  on  Saturday  evening,  January  23d, 
187s,  the  company,  headed  by  a  drum  corps  and  drawing  the  three  carriages 
owned  by  them,  left  the  Front  street  building  and  marched  to  and  took  pos- 
session of  the  house  they  now  occupy.  The  company  had  increa.sed  greatly 
during  the  eight  years  on  Front  street  and  now  numbered  in  all  over  one  hun- 
dred members.  The  company  was  incorporated  on  the  30th  of  March,  1867, 
having  at  that  time  thirty-two  members  on  the  active  roll,  of  whom  fifteen  were 
exempt.  The  following  have  been  elected  foremen  :  E.  W.  Farrington,  W.  S. 
Grantsynn,  James  B.  Humphrey,  George  B.  Harris,  Charles  H.  Stilwell,  Charles 


Alert  and  Active  Hose  Companies.  209 

B.  Ayers,  R.  H.  Warfield,  F.  B.  Watts,  E.  M.  Smith,  John  A.  Baird,  W.  H.  H. 
Rogers,  Wm.  H.  Brady,  John  A.  Davis,  Frank  H.  Leavenworth,  Charles  H. 
Atkinson,  Samuel  A.  Rose,  James  Cassidy,  Irving  C.  McWhorter,  John  E. 
Kelly,  John  A.  Vanderwerf,  Henry  W.  Mathews.  The  present  officers  are  : 
Henry  W.  Mathews,  foreman  ;  George  W.  Scott,  first  assistant ;  Wm.  V. 
Boyd,  second  assistant;  Charles  H.  Atkinson,  president;  Robert  Renfrew,  jr., 
vice-president;  Wm.  F.  Brinsmaid,  recording  secretary;  Charles  E.  Boor, 
financial  secretary  ;  Thomas  H.  Husband,  treasurer  ;  Rev.  W.  D'Orville  Doty, 
chaplain ;  C.  H.  Atkinson,  W.  F.  Brinsmaid,  Simon  V.  McDowell,  Simon  Stern 
and  Henry  W.  Mathews,  trustees.  After  twenty  years'  services  on  the  active 
and  exempt  roll  a  member  becomes  a  life  member'  in  the  company,  conferred, 
so  far,  only  on  H.  W.  Mathews  and  G.  B.  Harris.  The  honorary  roll  contains 
the  names  of  ninety-four  members,  the  exempt  roll  thirty-three  members,  the 
active  roll  thirty-seven — in  all  one  hundred  and  sixty-four  members.  At  the 
time  of  the  great  parade  held  in  this  city  on  August  i8th,  1882,  the  last  day 
of  the  meeting  of  the  New  York  State  Firemen's  association,  the  Alerts,  on  the 
right  of  the  line,  had  on  the  rope  ninety-one  members,  three  officers,  one 
steward,  with  three  ort  the  central  committee  and  two  marshals  of  division,  in 
all  one  hundred  members. 

Active  hose  company  number  2  dates  its  organisation  from  June  9th,  1868, 
when  the  following  persons  were  named  as  officers  :  President,  Arthur  D.  Wal- 
bridgc ;  vice-president,  Cornelius  R.  Parsons;  secretary,  J.  Matthew  Angle  ; 
treasurer,  P.  Frank  Quin;  foreman,  James  Cochrane;  assistant  foreman,  S.  W. 
Updike,  jr. ;  but  they  did  not  receive  their  carriage  until  some  time  about  No- 
vember 1st,  of  the  same  year.  Before  that  time  a  difference  of  opinion  arose 
among  the  members  and  resulted  in  a  number  of  those  who  had  been  most 
active  in  effecting  an  organisation  leaving  the  company,  whereupon  they 
elected  a  new  set  of  officers,  who  were  the  first  under  whom  fire  duty  was 
done,  their  fir.st  alarm  being  on  November  4th,  1868.  They  were  located  at 
this  time  on  Water  street,  next  door  to  steam  engine  number  i,  where  they 
remained  until  November  5th,  1873,  when  they  opened  their  new  house  on 
North  St.  Paul  street,  where  they  now  are.  The  names  of  those  who  have' 
held  the  office  of  foreman  are  :  James  Cochrane,  Bernard  Dunn,  John  W.  Wil- 
son, Owen  F.  Fee,  Joseph  F.  Cochrane,  William  H.  Tracy,  William  V.  Clark, 
Josiah  J.  Kinsey,  Adolph  H.  Otto,  George  Ford,  John  B.  Mooney,  Morris 
H.  Lempert,  John  E.  Rauber,  John  Leight,  R.  C.  Reynell,  H.  C.  Knowlton. 
About  the  i8th  of  August,  1882,  the  company  received  a  new  hose  carriage 
called  "the  citizens'  gift,"  as  it  was  bought  by  a  subscription  raised  for  that 
purpose,  and  intended  to  be  drawn  by  horses.  The  present  officers  of  the  com- 
panyare:  President,  Henry  C.Wulle;  vice-president,  R.  Charles  Reynell ;  record- 
ing secretary,  Louis  Rice;  financial  secretary,  Adolph  H.  Otto ;  treasurer,  John  P. 
KisHngbury;  foreman,  H.  C.  Knowlton;  first  assistant,  John  Reinhart;  second 


2IO  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

assistant,  Louis  Rice.  The  honorary  exempt  roll,  which  requires  ten  years' 
service  in  this  company,  contains  the  names  of  James  Malcom,  A.  H.  Otto, 
Selim  Sloman ;  the  exempt  roll  contains  fifteen  names,  the  active  roll  sixteen 
names;  and  besides  the  company  has  what  are  called  "passive"  members,  who, 
upon  the  payment  of  yearly  dues  of  the  sum  of  three  dollars,  are  entitled  to 
the  privilege  of  the  house  but  have  no  vote  in  its  meetings ;  on  this  roll  there 
are  seventeen  names. 

In  February,  1861,  two  steam  fire  engines  were  brought  to  the  city,  which 
were  afterward  known  as  numbers  i  and  3.  There  was  at  first  some  slight  op- 
position to  their  use  and  much  incredulity  was  fdt  with  regard  to  their  effect- 
iveness, especially  in  cases  where  rapidity  of  action  was  concerned.  This, 
however,  soon  wore  away,  especially  after  the  substitution  of  horses  for  hand 
labor,  which  was  the  motive  power  in  drawing  the  steamers  for  the  first  few 
months.  The  inevitable  result  followed ;  the  old  hand  engines  soon  fell  into 
disuse,  the  paid  fire  department  was  organised  in  1862  and  one  steamer  after 
another  was  added  to  the  list,  until  there  were  four,  ready  to  be  called  into 
active  work  at  any  moment.  These  performed  all  that  could  be  accomplished 
by  any  number  of  machines  at  a  fire,  and  most  of  them  turned  out  at  every 
alarm  until  the  Holly  system  of  water-works  went  into  successful  operation 
in  1874,  when  the  attendance  of  the  steamers  on  ordinary  occasions  was  ren- 
dered unnecessary,  so  that  only  the  hose  carts  of  the  paid  department  turned 
out  at  every  call,  together  with  the  chemical  engine  or  fire  extinguisher.  'The 
two  volunteer  hose  companies,  the  sack  and  bucket  company  and  the  patent 
Hayes  truck,  with  long,  extension  ladders,  which  was  added  to  the  apparatus 
last  year,  run  only  to  boxes  in  the  center  or  more  thickly  settled  parts  of  the 
city,  while  the  steamers  respond  only  to  a  general  alarm  or  a  special  call  in 
case  of  emergency.  A  fifth  hose  cart  has  just  been  added  to  the  paid  depart- 
ment. A  useful  factor  in  the  suppression  of  fires,  and  one  which  it  would  now 
seem  almost  impossible  to  do  without,  is  the  fire  alarm  telegraph,  of  the  Game- 
well  system,  which  was  accepted  by  the  city  government  in  March,  1869,  after 
its  construction  at  a  cost  of  $12,000.  Box  after  box  has  been  added,  until 
now  there  are  eighty-seven  in  all.  The  telegraph  was  from  the  beginning  un- 
der the  charge  of  B.  F.  Blackall,  who  was  succeeded  three  years  ago  by  Charles 
R.  Finnegan,  both  of  whom  have  conducted  the  affairs  of  the  office  in  a  satis- 
factory manner.  No  more  valuable  adjunct  to  the  department  exists  than  the 
fire  marshal,  whose  obligations  are  various  but  whose  most  important  duty  is 
to  examine  all  buildings  in  process  of  construction  and  to  forbid  their  comple- 
tion if  it  will  be  dangerous  to  human  life,  as  well  as  to  order  the  demolition  of 
structures  that  have  so  far  gone  to  decay  as  to  render  them  unsafe.  O.  L.  An- 
gevine  filled  the  office  for  a  great  number  of  years  and  in  1880  gave  place  to 
William  Carroll,  who  in  April  of  this  year  was  succeeded  by  Arthur  McCor- 
mick,  the  present  incumbent. 


Firemen's  Benevolent  Association,  2 1 1 

Of  the  many  parades  of  the  fire  department  alone,  the  largest  and  most 
imposing  ever  given  under  the  old  volunteer  system  was  on  September  13th, 
1854,  when  several  machines  from  Buffalo,  Batavia,  Elmira,  Geneseo,  Oswego 
and  Cobourg  appeared  in  the  line,  two  of  the  visiting  companies  being  accom- 
panied by  brass  bands.  This  was  eclipsed  by  the  grand  procession  at  the  ded- 
ication of  the  firemen's  monument  in  1880  and  by  that  in  August,  in  1882, 
when  the  convention  of  the  State  Firemen's  association,  under  the  presidency 
of  Thomas  A.  Raymond,  of  the  Alert  hose  company  of  this  city,  was  held  here. 
The  festivities  then  lasted  through  most  of  the  week,  but  the  exercises  were  not 
confined  to  the  mere  entertainment  of  delegates  and  visitors  from  abroad,  for 
they  included  the  exhibition  at  a  large  building  on  North  St.  Paul  street,  which 
was  temporarily  used  as  headquarters,  of  all  imaginable  contrivances  for  the 
extinguishment  of  fires  or  connected  in  any  way  with  that  important  service. 
It  will  now  be  well  to  go  back  a  little  in  point  of  time  and  to  give  a  sketch  of 
the  Firemen's  Benevolent  association. 

From  an  early  period  in  the  history  of  the  village  there  had  been  a  firemen's 
benevolent  fund,  to  provide  for  the  maintenance  of  the  men  during  sickness  and 
for  the  relief  of  the  widows  and  orphans  after  death  had  taken  away  their  nat- 
ural support.  This  fund  was  neither  permanent  in  its  nature  nor  constant  in  its 
amount,  the  money  being  raised  from  time  to  time,  as  occasion  demanded,  and 
the  advisability  of  making  it  lasting  and  adequate  to  all  calls  upon  it  was  be- 
ginning to  be  realised  when  Colonel  Thomas  S.  Meacham,  of  Pulaski,  Oswego 
county,  offered  to  give  the  city  a  mammoth  cheese,  weighing  several  hundred 
pounds,  which  had  been  made  in  his  dairy,  and  which,  according  to  his  condi- 
tions, was  to  be  sold  at  auction  and  the  proceeds  "  to  be  set  apart  as  a  fund  for 
the  relief  of  the  widows  and  orphans  of  firemen  and  for  disabled  firemen."  The 
offer  was  gladly  accepted  and  at  a  special  meeting  of  the  common  council,  held 
October  13th,  1835,  the  colonel  presented  the  chee.se.  The  nutritious  article 
was  then  transferred  to  the  corporation  and  sold  in  small  pieces,  the  sum  total 
obtained  being  $958.  27.  This  became  the  nucleus  of  the  permanent  firemen's 
fund,  and  to  take  care  of  it  the  Firemen's  Benevolent  association  was  organised 
the  same  year  and  incorporated  in  1837.  Ten  years  after  its  foundation  the 
fund  showed  an  increase  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  per  cent.,  being  $2,405.06, 
in  1856  it  was  $3,848.09,  in  1866  it  had  mounted  up  to  $10,246.18,  in  1876 
it  had  risen  to  $40,303.94,  and  on  December  loth,  1883,  it  was  $50,136.39. 
In  only  three  years  has  there  been  a  decrease — one  of  those  being  1880,  when 
$8,956.89  was  paid  for  the  monument  —  and  during  all  this  time  large  amounts 
have  been  disbursed  annually  for  relief,  aggregating  more  than  $30,000,  a  per- 
petual bed  in  the  City  hospital,  for  the  use  of  the  sick  poor  of  the  department, 
has  been  purchased  at  a  cost  of  $1,500,  and  other  large  expenditures  have  been 
made.  In  1864  the  association  was  re-incorporated  under  the  name  of  the 
"Rochester  fire  department,"  in  order  that  it  might  receive  the  two  per  cent. 


2 1 2  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

of  the  premiums  paid  to  foreign  insurance  companies,  which  those  organisa- 
tions had,  before  that  time,  paid  to  the  city  treasurer. 

The  great  day  of  the  association  —  or  department,  as  it  must  now  be 
called  —  was  September  9th,  1880,  when  the  monument,  above  referred  to, 
was  unveiled  with  impressive  ceremonies.  All  the  firemen  in  the  city,  exempts 
as  well  as  those  in  active  service,  turned  out  to  do  honor  to  the  occasion,  and 
visiting,  companies,  with  their  apparatus,  and  accompanied  in  some  cases  by 
their  own  bands,  were  present  from  Auburn,  Penn  Yan,  Ithaca,  Brockport, 
Lockport,  and  Bradford,  Pa.,  to  join  in  the  parade,  and  the  solemn  march  to 
Mount  Hope.  The  structure  stands  at  the  end  of  Grove  avenue,  in  the  south- 
western part  of  the  cemetery,  on  a  high  ground  overlooking  the  river,  and  giv- 
ing a  view  of  some  of  the  most  beautiful  portions  of  the  city,  two  miles  to  the 
northward.  From  the  center  of  a  platform,  twenty-four  feet  and  three  inches 
square,  rises  the  monument  to  a  height  of  fifty  feet,  made  of  Vermont  granite, 
without  a  blemish  in  it,  and  constructed  entirely  by  Rochester  workmen.  On 
the  summit  of  the  shaft  is  a  figure  eight  feet  nine  inches  high,  that  of  a  fire- 
man, wearing  a  fire  hat,  with  coat  on  the  left  arm,  and  standing  in  an  attitude 
of  rest;  the  words  "Fire  department,"  on  one  of  the  bases,  form  the  only  let- 
tering on  the  work.  The  exercises  were  opened  with  a  brief  speech  by  An- 
drew M.  Semple,  the  president  of  the  day,  after  which  Dr.  H.  C.  Riggs,  of  St. 
Peter's  church,  made  a  prayer ;  Cornelius  R.  Parsons,  the  mayor  of  the  city, 
delivered  an  address ;  then  followed,  after  music,  an  address  by  James  H. 
Kelly,  a.  poem  written  for  the  occasion  by  Mrs.  J.  G.  Maurer,  and  read  by  Dr. 
Riggs,  an  address  by  John  W.  Stebbins,  and  the  benediction  by  Rev.  Byron 
Holley,  of  St.  Luke's. 

The  first  officers  of  the  association  were :  President,  Erastus  Cook ;  vice- 
presidents,  Peter  W.  Jennings  and  William  Blossom  ;  treasurer,  John  Williams  ; 
secretary,  William  R.  Montgomery ;  collector,  A.  J.  Langworthy ;  directors. 
Engine  company  number  i,  William  S.  Whittlesey;  number  2,  Edward  Rog- 
gen  ;  number  3,  Isaac  Hellems;  number  4,  John  T.  Tallman  ;  number  5,  E.  B. 
Wheeler;  number  6,  William  Ailing;  hook  and  ladder  number  i,  William 
Brewster;  number  2,  James  Bradshaw ;  hose  number  i,  Heman  Loom'is. 
The  different  presidents  from  that  time  on  were  William  Brewster,  Martin 
Briggs,  George  Arnold,  George  W.  Parsons,  XVilliam  E.  Lathrop,  John  Craigie, 
George  B.  Harris,  A.  S.  Lane,  Joseph  B.  Ward,  John  Cowles,  S.  M.  Stewart, 
Law  S.  Gibson,  L.  W.  Clarke,  Thomas  H.  Husband,  Henry  W.  Mathews  and 
Theron  E.  Parsons.  The  following  are  the  names  of  the  ch  ief-engineers,  from 
their  time  of  service,  and  the  names  of  the  various  assistants  :  Samuel  Works, 
1826-31 ;  W.  H.  Ward,  1832  and  1834-35  '>  Thomas  Kempshall,  1833;  Theo- 
dore Chapin,  1836;  Alfred  Judson,  1837-38  and  1840;  P.  W.  Jennings,  1839 
and  1 841;  A.  J.  Langworthy,  1842;  George  W.  Parsons,  1843-44;  T.  B. 
Hamilton,    1845,    1847-48  and    1850;   S.   M.   Sherman,    1846   and    1851-54; 


Notable  Fires.  213 


James  Cowles,  1849;  William  H.  Sprung,  1855-56;  Zachariah  Weaver,  1857- 
58  and  1868;  George  13.  Harris,  August,  1858-62  and  1865-67;  John  Mc- 
Mullen,  1863;  P.  H.  Sullivan,  1864;  Wendel  Bayer,  December,  1868-69  and 
1880;  Law  S.  Gibson,  1870-79  and  1881-84.  Assistants,  W.  H.  Ward,  James 
K.  Livingston,  Theodore  Chapin,  K.  H.  Van  Rensselaer,  W.  S.  Whittlesey, 
Erastus  Cook,  Alfred  Judson,  P.  D.  Wright,  Reuben  A.  Bunnell,  P.  W.  Jen- 
nings, I.  H.  Babcock,  William  P.  Smith,  A.  J.  Langworthy,  G.  W.  Parsons,  T. 
B.  Hamilton,  George  Charles,  Thomas  Hawks,  S.  M.  Sherman,  U.  C.  Edger- 
ton,  George  W.  Biirnap,  John  Craigie,  James  Cowles,  J.  P.  Steele,  Benjamin 
H.  Hill,  M.H.  Jennings,  James  Melvin,  William  Melvin,,W.  H.  Sprung,  Ed- 
ward Madden,  Valentine  Shale,  Zachariah  Weaver,  John  Cowles,  J.  N.  M. 
Weeks,  S.  M.  Stewart,  John  R.  Steele,  John  McMullen,  Joseph  Consler,  Jo- 
seph Corbin,  John  D.  Pike,  Robert  B.  Randall,  Joseph  Franklin,  Jeremiah 
Twaige,  A.  Galley  Cooper,  Friend  W.  Hines,  John  McMahon,  Wendel  Bayer, 
P.  H.  Sullivan,  Thomas  O'Brien,  John  Arth,  James  White,  James  Malcom, 
August  Bauer,  Charles  Frank,  Law  S.  Gibson,  Thomas  Crouch,  Ralph-  Ben- 
don,  John  F.  Goldsmith,  John  C.  Connolly,  Henry  W.  Mathews,  Samuel  Be- 
mish,  Anthony  Kassel,  John  O'Kane,  James  Plunkett. 

An  organisation  known  as  the  Rochester  Fire  Engineers'  association,  con- 
sisting of  ex-chiefs  and  ex-assistant  engineers,  was  formed  on  the  28th  of 
March,  1883,  with  the  election  of  the  following  officers:  George  B.  Harris, 
president ;  Zachariah  Weaver,  vice-president ;  H.  W.  Mathews,  secretary ; 
Wendel  Bayer,   treasurer. 

Anything  like  a  full  description  of  all  the  fires  that  have  occurred  here 
would  of  course  be  impossible,  and  those  that  are  named  below  are  by  no 
means  the  only  ones  which  created  excitement  at  the  time  or  required. hard 
work  on  the  part  of  the  firemen  before  they  could  be  extinguished.  Some  of 
the  mill  fires  have  made  a  brighter  blaze,  and  some  of  the  burnings  of  lumber 
yards  and  wood-work  manufactories  have  entailed  more  prolonged  labor  of 
the  department,  but  they  were  not  destructive  of  life  nor  did  they  bear  away 
with  them  in  their  ascending  smoke  the  memory  of  old  associations.  The  first 
fire  in  the  little  village  was  on  Sunday,  December  5th,  18 19,  when  the  build- 
ing just  east  of  where  the  Arcade  now  is,  containing  the  office  of  the  Gazette, 
was  burned;  Edwin  Scrantom,  an  apprentice  of  the  establishment,  was  asleep 
there  at  the  time  and  would  have  awakened  only  to  a  fiery  death  had  not 
James  Frazer,  at  the  risk  of  his  life,  burst  through  the  flames  and  rescued  him. 
The  first  fatality  occurred  December  2ist,  1827,  when  Thomas  M.  Rathbun, 
of  hook  and  ladder  number  i,  was  killed  by  a  falling  chimney  at  the  burning 
of  Everard  Peck's  paper-mill,  on  South  Water  street,  where  Charles  J.  Hill's 
flouring  mill  stood  in  later  years.  Only  three  alarms  were  given  in  1836,  and 
but  two  of  those  were  for  fires  of  any  magnitude  —  Lewis  Selye's  engine 
factory  and  Jonathan  Child's  "  Marble  block,"  on  Exchange  street,  just  south 


214  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

of  the  canal.  On  the  26th  of  August,  1840,  George  B.  Benjamin  and  John 
Eaton,  both  firemen,  were  killed  by  a  falling  wall  at  the  burning  of  the  Curtis 
building,  on  Main  street.  The  old  Mansion  House,  on  State  street,  built  in 
1 82 1,  was  burned  February  2d,  1844.  May  2d,  1846,  the  old  stone  block 
built  by  Hervey  Ely  in  1 8 1 7  on  the  corner  of  Main  and  State  streets,  where 
the  Burns  block  was  afterward  put  up  and  where  the  Elwood  block  now  stands, 
was  destroyed,  and  the  Democrat  office,  which  occupied  a  part  of  the  building, 
was  ruined.  In  July,  1847,  Grace  church,  on  the  site  of  the  present  structure, 
was  burned  to  the  ground. 

The  destruction  of  "Chicken  row,"  on  the  3l[st  of  March,  1853,  where  the 
Rochester  savings  bank  now  stands,  did  not  amount  to  much  of  a  conflagra- 
tion, but  it  removed  a  notorious  landmark  and  formed  the  subject  of  conversa- 
tion for  almost  a  month,  when  it  was  put  out  of  mind  by  the  calamity  of  the 
burning,  on  the  29th  of  April  in  the  same  year,  of  the  Rochester  House.  This 
noted  hotel,  which  in  the  early  days  of  the  canal  was  inseparably  connected 
with  the  glories  of  that  great  water-way,  was  a  large  structure  on  Exchange 
street,  extending  from  the  canal  to  Spring  street ;  in  its  latter  days  it  was 
kept  by  E.  W.  Bryan  as  a  temperance  house  and  on  the  final  night  there  were 
ninety  guests  sleeping  in  it,  all  of  whom  escaped-,  but  four  employees  of  the 
place — three  women  and  a  man  —  were  unable  to  get  out  and  were  burned  to 
death.  Within  a  year  from  that  time  another  hotel,  the  Blossom  House  (where 
the  Osburn  House  afterward  stood),  was  destroyed,  January  24th,  1854,  the 
fire  beginning  at  three  in  the  night  and  lasting  till  the  next  afternoon;  the  mer- 
cury fell  to  zero  soon  after  daylight,  the  pipes  froze  stiff,  faster  than  they  could 
be  thawed,  men  and  machines  were  almost  encased  in  ice,  the  free  use  of  liquor 
made  the  matter  worse  and  one  company  was  sent  home  by  Mayor  Williams 
for  its  bad  conduct.  Early  in  the  morning  of  November  21st,  1857,  the  Eagle 
bank  block,  a  fine  six-story  edifice,  on  the  site  of  the  present  Masonic  Hall 
block,  burned  to  the  ground;  Patrick  Heavey  and  William  Cleator,  of  engine 
company  number  2,  were  killed  by  a  falling  chimney;  the  Democrat  establish- 
ment, occupying  the  fourth  and  fifth  floors,  was  again  completely  destroyed 
and  the  Commercial  bank  building,  next  east,  was  crushed  by  a  falling  wall. 

We  now  come  to  the  most  destructive  fire,  in  point  of  pecuniary  value,  that 
ever  visited  our  city.  Soon  after  eleven  o'clock  on  the  night  of  August  17th, 
1858,  flames  were  seen  issuing  from  the  livery  stable  of  Heavey  &  McAnally, 
on  Minerva  alley,  and  before  daylight  every  building  on  the  south  side  of  Main 
street  from  St.  Paul  to  Stone  street,  including  the  Third  Presbyterian  church 
and  Minerva  hall,  was  in  ruins,  five  business  blocks  and  twenty  stores  being 
thus  destroyed;  the  loss  was  $175,000,  insurance  nearly  two-thirds  of  that; 
water  was  difficult  to  get  at  and  the  firemen  were  somewhat  fatigued  by  a  long 
walk  in  procession  early  in  the  evening,  as  well  as  by  a  $25,000  fire  in  Water 
street  the  night  before.     On  the  lOth  of  November,  1859,  the  Unitarian  church. 


Notable  Fires.  2 1 5 


on  Fitzhugh  street,  was  burned,  and  just  a  month  later  the  Second  Baptist 
cliurch,  on  the  corner  of  Clinton  and  Main  streets.  The  old  Bethel  church  on 
Washington  street,  next  to  the  canal,  which  had  long  been  vacant,  as  the  con- 
gregation had  built  the  Central  church,  was  burned  on  the  night  of  November 
24th,  1 861  ;  a  large  tin  dome  stood  above  the  roof,  and  as  the  heated  air  filled 
its  interior  it  rose  like  a  balloon  and  soared  away  to  quite  a  distance,  present- 
ing a  brilliant  and  peculiar  sight.  For  a  fourth  time  the  department  suffered 
a  loss  in  its  membership,  when  John  D.  Pike,  Henry  P'orscheler  and  Joseph 
Wernette  fell  at  the  post  of  duty  and  died  while  fighting  the  flames  at  the  burn- 
ing of  Washington  hall  on  the  4th  of  May,  1867.  March  17th,  1868,  St. 
Peter's  (Presbyterian)  church  was  burned,  and  on  the  19th  of  December  in  the 
same  year  the  Deinocrat  office  underwent  a  third  cremation,  being  burned  out 
completely  in  the  conflagration  that  destroyed  much  of  the  old  Eagle  Hotel 
block  and  extended  through  from  Pindell  alley  to  State  street,  taking  in  the 
Union  bank  building  and  other  property  adjacent.  The  First  Presbyterian 
church,  then  unoccupied,  where  the  city  hall  now  stands,  was  burned  on  the  2d 
of  May,  1869,  and  the  Opera  House  on  the  6th  of  November  in  the  same 
year. 

An  ancient  memorial  of  the  city  was  lost  when  the  old  Hervey  Ely  mill,  at 
the  east  end  of  the  aqueduct,  went  up  in  smoke  in  the  early  morning  of  August 
24th,  1870,  and  the  third  week  in  December  of  that  year  gave  hard  work  to 
the  department  by  three  successive  all-night  fires — those  of  the  Boston  mill, 
the  Pool  building  (in  which  the  Democrat  job- room  was  burned)  and  the  rag 
warehouse  of  McVean  &  Hastings,  on  Exchange  street,  where  the  Daily  Union 
building  now  is.  The  fire  in  Stewart's  block,  on  North  Water  street,  January 
1 8th,  1874,  is  noteworthy  for  being  that  at  which  the  first  stream  was  thrown 
from  the  water- works  hydrants.  July  19th,  1876,  a  fire  on  Warehouse  street, 
near  the  canal,  consumed  five  shops  and  factories ;  John  R.  Marks,  not  a  fire- 
man, was  burned  to  death.  Another  loss  of  life  occurred  at  the  burning  of 
Tower's  thermometer  works,  on  Exchange  street,  in  consequence  of  the  explo- 
sion of  some  material  there  used;  John  Prescott,  one  of  the  workmen,  was 
caught  fast  by  the  flying  debris  and  slowly  perished  in  the  flames.  One  of  the 
finest  pyrotechnic  displays,  of  late  years  at  least,  was  at  the  destruction,  on  the 
7th  of  April,  1880,  of  the  "Beehive,"  an  old  building  on  Aqueduct  street, 
which  was  built  in  1827  by  E.  S.  Beach,  Thomas  Kempshall  and  Henry  Ken- 
nedy, and  was  used  as  a  flour  mill  by  the  two  first  named,  one  after  the  other, 
till  the  death  of  Mr.  Kempshall,  in  1865,  when  it  was  remodeled  inside  and 
used  thereafter  for  a  great  number  of  manufacturing  industries.  This  will  close 
the  fire  record. 


2i6  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 


CHAPTER  XXVII. 

LIBRARIES  AND  LITERATURE. 

The  First  Public  Library  —  The  Franklin  Instilute  —  The  Athenaeum  —  The  Central  Library  — The 
Law  Library — The  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  —  The  Literary  Union  —  "The  Club"  — The 
Fortnightly  —  The  Shakespeare  Club. 

THE  first  organised  association  in  this  place  for  the  dissemination  of  knowl- 
edge by  means  of  a  public  library  was  the  Franklin  Institute,  but  before 
that  there  was  at  least  an  effort  made  in  the  same  airection,  as  is  shown  by  this 
extract  from  the  first  volume  of  miscellaneous  records  in  the  county  clerk's 
office :  — 

"I,  Jonathan  Child,  having  been,  at  a  meeting  of  two-thirds  of  such  persons  as  have  in 
writing  under  their  hands  signified  their  consent  and  desire  to  associate  themselves  together 
for  the  purpose  of  procuring  and  erecting  a  public  library,  held  at  the  house  of  John  G. 
Christopher  in  said  county  of  Monroe  and  state  of  New  York,  on  the  second  Tuesday 
of  April  1822,  the  time  and  place  previously  agreed  upon  by  a  majority  of  such  persons 
as  aforesaid,  duly  elected  chairman,  do  hereby  certify,  in  conformity  to  the  statute  in 
such  cases  made  and  provided ,  that  at  such  a  meeting  at  the  place  and  on  the  day  aforesaid 
Levi  Ward,  jr.,  Joseph  Penney,  Francis  H.  Cuming,  Joseph  Spencer,  William  Pitkin,  Ash- 
ley Sampson,  William  Atkinson,  Abraham  Plumb,  Elisha  Taylor,  Anson  Coleman,  Enos 
Pomeroy  and  Jonathan  Child  were  by  plurality  of  voices  duly  elected  to  serve  as  trustees 
of  '  the  Rochester  Literary  company,'  in  said  village  of  Rochester  for  the  ensuing  year." 

Whether  this  company  ever  went  into  active  operation  cannot  be  definitely 
ascertained.  If  it  did  so,  however,  it  must  have  been  short-lived,  for  the  di- 
rectory of  1827  makes  no  mention  of  it,  but,  on  the  contrary,  distinctly  says :  — 

"There  is  as  yet  no  public  library  of  general  literature  nor  public  seminary  of  educa- 
tion. Measures  are  in  operation,  however,  for  prosecuting  both  these  objects,  which  it  is 
hoped  the  present  year  will  see  in  a  good  state  of  advancement." 

At  that  very  time  the  Franklin  institute  w^as  in  existence,  for  it  was  organ- 
ised on  the  13th  of  October,  1826,  but  its  library  was  scientific,  not  literary,  as 
will  be  seen  by  this  extract  from  its  constitution  :  — 

"The  objects  which  the  Franklin  institute  shall  have  especially  in  view  shall  be  the  es- 
tablishment of  a  library  for  the  use  of  the  members,  consisting  of  books  on  the  arts, 
sciences  and  manufactures,  a  museum  of  models  of  machines,  a  cabinet  of  mineralogy, 
geology,  and  chemical  substances,  scientifically  arranged ;  lectures  and  apparatus  for 
illustrating  the  sciences  connected  with  the  mechanical  arts,  and  mutual  instruction  in  el- 
ementary sciences  as  far  as  practicable." 

The  origin  of  the  institute  was  in  a  course  of  lectures  delivered  here  in  that 
year  by  Prof  Eaton  of  Troy,  which  must  have  been  well  supported,  for  at  their 
close  the  managers  found  themselves  in  possession  of  a  surplus  of  two  or  three 
hundred  dollars.  This  they  resolved  to  devote  to  the  establishment  of  a  pub- 
lic library,  which  was  accordingly  opened  in  rooms  on  the  corner  of  Main  and 
Canal  streets  (now  Water  street);  this  was  in  the  building  formerly  occupied  by 


Franklin  Institute.  —  Athenaeum.  217 

the  Eagle  bank.  The  aflfairs  of  the  institute  were  conducted  by  a  committee  of 
seven,  who  were  chosen  annually.  The  first  committee  consisted  of  Rev.  Joseph 
Penney,  Rev.  F.  H.  Cuming,  Levi  Ward,  jr.,  Elisha  Johnson,  Jacob  Graves, 
Giles  Boulton  and  Edwin  Stanley.  At  the  commencement  of  the  year  1827 
the  association  consisted  of  about  seventy  members  and  had  obtained  a  small 
cabinet  of  minerals,  a  library  and  several  models  of  machines,  and  had  be- 
gun a  system  of  cultivating  knowledge  in  the  arts  and  sciences  by  lectures, 
experiments,  and  such  examinations  and  inquiries  as  the  means  of  the  institute 
would  admit  of  At  that  day  the  privileges  of  such  an  association  were  highly 
prized,  as  the  fee  of  admission  to  membership  was  $5,  subject  to  an  annual 
tax  of  $2. 

Out  of  the  Franklin  institute  grew  the  Rochester  Athenseum  and  Mechanics' 
Literary  association,  generally  known  by  the  shorter  title  of  the  Athenaeum, 
which  indeed  was  its  name  at  first  and  until  it  was  consolidated  with  other  or- 
ganisations.    The  following  is  from  its  annual  report  for  1859 :  — 

"Shortly  after  the  foundation  of  the  Franklin  institute  the  Rochester  Athenseum  was 
organised,  in  1829,  and,  being  incorporated  in  1830,  continued  for  some  years.  Its  first 
rooms  were  in  the  Reynolds  arcade.  At  this  time  the  library  consisted  of  four  hundred 
volumes,  and  the  papers  received  were  eleven  daily,  four  semi-weekly,  and  thirteen 
weekly-.  After  that  time  it  fell  into  a  languishing  condition,  its  books  stored  away  and 
its  members  inactive.  It  continued  thus  until  1838,  when,  by  a  union  with  the  Young 
Men's  Literary  association  (which  had  been  founded  a  short  time  before),  new  Hfe  was 
infused  into  it,  and  the  two  associations  continued  for  some  time  to  enlist  the  interest  of 
our  citizens.  In  1844  (their  rooms  being  then  in  Smith's  arcade)  the  library  consisted  of 
2,700  volumes.  After  some  time,  however,  the  interest  in  the  association  decreased, 
and  in  1849  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  effect  a  coalition  with  the  Mechanics'  Literary 
association,  which  had  been  organised  in  February,  1836,  and  incorporated  February 
25th,  1839.  This  institution  was  in  possession  of  a  Ubrary  of  about  1,500  volumes.  It 
had  regularly  kept  up  a  series  of  weekly  debates,  and  had  also  held  several  exhibitions  or 
fairs  of  mechanical  inventions,  etc.  The  diploma  awarded  to  exhibitors  on  such  occa- 
sions is  here  presented,  and  was  really  a  creditable  production  for  the  time,  though  as 
you  will  readily  perceive,  the  locomotive  is  of  rather  a  primitive  construction.  Immediately 
after  the  combination  of  the  two  societies,  they  removed  to  their  rooms  (in  Corinthian 
hall  building),  and  the  first  lecture  before  the  association  was  dehvered  by  Rev.  J.  H. 
Mcllvaine,  on  the  28th  of  June,  1849." 

On  the  30th  of  August  a  new  constitution  was  adopted  —  and  the  first  elec- 
tion under  it  held  in  Arcade  hall  on  the  third  Monday  of  September,  1849. 
Levi  A.  Ward  was  elected  president  to  serve  for  the  remainder  of  the  year. 
In  January,  1850,  Mr.  Ward  was  reelected  for  a  full  term.  The  good  work 
done  by  the  Athenaeum  in  the  way  of  providing  lectures  during  a  long  series 
of  years  is  well  known  to  most  of  our  readers,  who,  by  the  purchase  of  course 
tickets,  kept  alive  the  institution,  for  the  sums  derived  from  the  sale  of  member- 
ship tickets  were  by  no  means  sufficient  for  that  purpose.  In  the  course  of 
each  winter,  for  year  after  year,  the  best  lyceum  orators  in  the  country  spoke 
to  large  audiences,  and  few  of  that  class  who  had  attained  any  eminence  what- 


2i8  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

ever  failed  to  be  called  upon  or  failed  to  respond.  With  regard  to  the  number 
of  volumes  in  the  library  any  statement  that  could  be  made  would  be  imperfect 
and  unsatisfactory.  In  the  time  of  its  greatest  prosperity  the  number  was  not 
far  from  25,000,  but,  as  the  fortunes  of  the  institution  waned,  the  volumes  grew 
fewer  and  fewer,  many  were  borrowed  and  not  returned,  many  were  rendered 
worthless  by  their  constant  usage,  and  the  number  now  remaining  stored  to- 
gether is  about  17,000.  The  favorable  lease  under  which  the  association  had 
occupied  the  rooms  in  the  Corinthian  hall  block  expired  in  1 871,  when,  rents 
having  largely  increased,  application  was  made  to  the  trustees  of  the  Rochester 
savings  bank  for  the  use  of  the  upper  story  of  tkeir  building,  located  on  the 
corner  of  Main  and  Fitzhugh  streets.  The  request  was  promptly  acceded  to 
and  the  association  was  granted  the  uSe  of  the  rooms  free  of  expense,  which  they 
occupied  for  a  few  years  and  then  removed,  first  to  the  court-house  and  then 
to  rooms  on  Fitzhugh  street.  Here,  in  1877,  the  usefulness  of  the  association 
came  to  an  end,  the  books  and  other  documents  passing  into  the  possession  of 
M.  F.  Reynolds  and  George  S.  Riley,  the  latter  of  whom  at  a  later  day  trans- 
ferred his  interest  in  the  property  to  the  former  gentleman,  by  whom  it  has  been 
transferred  to  the  trustees  of  the  Reynolds  library,  for  the  benefit  of  the  city. 
The  following  are  the  names  of  the  different  presidents  of  the  Athenaeum  asso- 
ciation :  1849  and '50,  Levi  A.  Ward;  1851,  George  W.  Parsons;  1852,  George 
S.Riley;  1853,  B.R.  McAlpine;  1 854,  Edward  M.  Smith  ;  1855,  John  N.  Pome- 
roy;  1856,  George  G.  Clarkson ;  1857-58  D.  D.  T.  Moore;  1859,  W.  V.  K. 
Lansings  i860,  Ira  B.  Northrop  ;  1861,  Charles  C.  Morse;  1862,  John  Bower; 
1863,  Ezra  R.  Andrews;  1864,  Wm.  A.  Reynolds;  1865,  Charles  B.  Hill; 
1866,  De  Lancey  Crittenden  ;  1867,  Edward  Webster;  1867,  M.  H.  FitzSi- 
mons ;  1868,  Theron  E.  Parsons;  1869,  M.  H.  FitzSimons;  1870,  Thomas 
Dransfield;  1871,  A.  M.  Semple;  1872,  C.  E.  Morris;  1873,  J.  H.  Kelly; 
1874,  Jonas  Jones. 

The  Central  library  was  established  in  1863,  by  consoUdating  seventeen 
school  libraries  into  one.  Selections  from  these  were  made,  and  in  addition  a 
few  valuable  works  were  purchased,  making  one  thousand  volumes,  thus  form- 
ing a  foundation  on  which  this  library  was  built.  It  was  first  established  in 
suitable  rooms  in  Baker's  block,  on  West  Main  street,  and  in  1875  it  was 
removed  to  its  present  commodious  quarters  in  the  Free  academy  building,  on 
Fitzhugh  street.  Mrs.  W.  H.  Learned  was  appointed  the  first  assistant  libra- 
rian in  1870,  and  was  succeeded  in  1881  by  Mrs.  Katherine  J.  Dowling,  the 
present  incumbent.  An  annual  state  appropriation  of  $879  is.  devoted  solely 
to  the  purchase  of  books,  and  so  carefully  and  substantially  have  these  been 
selected  by  the  library  committee  every  year,  that  each  classified  division  of 
volumes  has  grown  in  harmony,  requiring  additional  alcoves  annually,  until 
this  library  has  to-day  15,000  volumes,  mostly  works  of  fair  literary  value. 
It  has  a  patronage  of  five  thousand  readers,  and  for  many  years  was  the  only 


Atlaiitifc  Puihsluu^  ScEu^HViiig  Co. ITT. 


Law  Library. — The  Y.  M.  C.  A.  219 

one  open  to  the  public  for  reference  and  circulation,  and  to-day  vies  in  extent, 
variety  and  usefulness  with  older  institutions  of  its  kind. 

The  Law  library,  though  intended  specially  for  the  use  of  the  profession, 
contains  many  works  of  interest,  not,  perhaps,  to  those  classed  under  the  in- 
definite head  of  "general  readers,"  but  certainly  to  bibliophiles  and  those  who 
are  able  to  appreciate  the  worth  of  a  rare  volume.  It  is  a  part  of  the  law 
library  of  the  court  of  Appeals,  much  of  which  is  in  the  capitol  at  Albany,  the 
books  here  being  one-half  of  those  that  wer6  left  after  the  judges  had  selected 
what  they  considered  necessary  for  their  own  use  ;  the  other  moiety  of  the  un- 
chosen  volumes  was  sent  to  Syracuse.  The  library,  which  was  brought  here 
in  1850,  has  at  present  more  than  10,000  books,  the  value  of  which  is  not  far 
from  $50,000,  and  many  of  these  are  of  great  worth  on  account  of  their  an- 
tiquity and  their  rarity.  Over  one  hundred  of  them  are  printed  in  "black  let- 
ter," and  some  of  them  are  more  than  three  hundred  years  old  —  such  as  Brac- 
ton's  treatise  on  the  laws  and  customs  of  England  (in  Latin),  published  in  1540, 
and  Fitzherbert's  abridgment  of  laws  (in  Norman  French),  published  in  1565  — 
while  there  are  more  than  a  dozen  volumes  of  reports  by  Noy,  Fopham,  Little- 
ton and  other  great  lawyers,  published  in  the  seventeenth  century.  The  libra- 
rian is  L.  R.  Satterlee. 

On  March  17th,  1854,  the  young  men  of  Rochester  banded  themselves  in 
a  Young  Men's  Christian  association,  for  mental  and  moral  improvement.  This 
.society  struggled  through  a  few  years  of  many  discouragements  until  finally  it 
was  disbanded.  In  the  year  1864  the  young  men  once  more  felt  the  need  of 
some  society  where  they  might  get  spiritual  improvement,  and  help  their  fel- 
low-men. With  this  purpose  in  view  the  association  was  reorganised,  with  G. 
W.  Parsons  as  president  and  George  H.  Dana  as  corresponding  secretary. - 
From  the  lack  of  zeal  and  energy  the  association  lived  only  about  six  years. 
In  187s  the  association  was  once  more  organised.  This  time,  with  good  man- 
agement, it  steadily  increased,  both  in  membership  and  in  the  extent  of  work. 
Of  this  organisation  Horace  McGuire  was  president,  N.  B.  Randall  correspond- 
ing secretary,  and  F.  L.  Smith  general  secretary.  In  1879  George  C.  Buell  was 
elected  president,  and  has  served  the  association  as  such  to  the  present  time  of 
writing.  From  1875  D.  L.  Ogden,  H.  J.  Reynolds,  F.  R.  Wardle  and  F.  De  S. 
Helmer  have  been  the  general  secretaries.  Mention  has  been  made  of  the  good 
management  of  the  present  organisation  ;  with  zeal,  tact  and  tenacity  added  to 
this,  the  work  of  the  association  has  been  brought  before  the  public  in  such  a 
manner  that  it  is  recognised  as  a  public  benefaction.  To  give  an  idea  of  this 
growth,  the  following  statistics  will  speak  for  themselves  :  In  1880  the  average 
attendance  at  the  reading-room  was  250  per  week.'  In  1884  three  hundred  is 
thus  far  the  average  of  oite  day.  The  year  1 880  saw  but  four  meetings,  which 
were  attended  by  both  sexes,  and  very  thinly.  The  present  year  (1884)  all 
meetings  but  two  were  for  young  men  only,  with  an  average  attendance  of 


220  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

twice  the  number  in  former  years.  Evening  classes,  in  different  English 
branches,  are  very  well  attended,  and  great  interest  is  exhibited.  President, 
George  C.  Buell ;  vice-president.  Prof.  A.  H.  Mixer ;  recording  secretary,  A. 
N.  Fitch;  treasurer,  C.  F.  Pond;  general  secretary,  F.  De  S.  Helmer;  assist- 
ant secretaries,  C.  W.  Foreman  and  Edward  S.  Simmons. 

The  object  of  the  Young  Men's  Catholic  association  is  to  cultivate  a  love  of 
morality,  law  and  good  citizenship  among  the  youth  of  Rochester,  to  combine 
the  elevation  of  the  mind  with  the  development  of  the  body  by  the  alternation 
of  literary  exercises  with  physical  improvement.  The  organisation  was  effected 
on  the  25th  day  of  March,  1872,  by  the  election  of  the  following  officers: 
President,  Right  Rev.  B.  J.  McQuaid,  D.  D.;  first  vice-president,  Charles 
FitzSimons ;  second  vice-president,  John  Odenbach ;  treasurer,  William  Pur- 
cell  ;  corresponding  secretary,  F.  A.  Shale ;  recording  secretary,  John  C. 
O'Brien.  The  association  was  incorporated  the  3d  of  the  following  month.  A 
month  before  the  organisation  Bishop  McQuaid  had  purchased,  in  his  own 
name,  but  really  as  trustee  for  the  future  society,  the  ground  on  the  corner  of 
West  Main  street  and  Montgomery  alley,  then  occupied  by  the  Exchange 
Hotel,  for  $30,000,  the  o\yner  of  which,  C.  B.  Woodward,  refused  an  offer  of 
$5, 000  more  before  the  papers  were  drawn  up.  On  the  4th  of  April  the  bishop 
transferred  the  property  to  the  association,  and  one  year  later,  when  the  old 
leases  had  expired,  the  erection  of  a  building  was  begun,  which  was  completed 
before  the  next  October.  It  is  a  sightly  edifice,  costing  nearly  $40,000, 
seventy-severi  and  a  half  feet  in  front,  eighty  feet  deep,  with  a  wing  twenty-six 
by  forty-two  feet,  and  is  four  stories  in  height,  the  upper  floor  being  used  as  a 
gymnasium  and  occupied  by  the  Athletic  club,  the  one  below  that  for  the 
purposes  of  the  brganisation,  including  the  exercises  of  the  Literary  Union,  and 
the  other  floors  for  offices  and  stores ;  its  architect  was  A.  J.  Warner.  There 
have  been  few  changes  in  its  directorship,  and  its  present  officers  are  the  same 
as  given  above,  except  that  Timothy  Whalen  is  now  the  second  vice-pre.sident 
and  Dr.  Richard  Curran  is  the  treasurer. 

One  of  the  most  popular  Catholic  societies  in  Rochester  at  the  present 
time  is  the  Rochester  Literary  Union,  of  which  the  following  sketch  was  fur- 
nished by  E.  J.  Kelly:  It  was  organised  in  the  spring  of  1875,  with  twenty- 
five  charter  members.  Its  main  object  was  to  unite  the  Catholic  young  men 
of  the  city  without  distinction  as  to  nationality.  They  unanimously  elected  as 
their  first  president,  William  Purcell,  who  for  two  years  labored  with  the  great- 
est zeal  to  make  the  organisation  what  it  is  at  the  present  time,  the  representa- 
tive Catholic  association  of  the  city.  Mr.  Purcell  was  succeeded  by  James  Fee, 
who  during  his  term  of  office  did  much  for  the  improvement  of  the  association 
and  by  his  liberality  on  many  occasions  evinced  the  interest  he  took  in  the 
Literary  Union.  He  was  followed  by  William  C.  Barry,  whose  administration 
was  most  successful.      Mr.  Barry  has  been  succeeded  by  Patrick  Mahon,  Pat- 


"The  Cluu."  —  Fortnightly  Club.  221 

rick  Cox,  Patrick  H.  Magill  (who  scarcely  had  assumed  his  duties  when  he  was 
stricken  by  death,  much  to  the  sorrow  of  the  association),  Patrick  Cauley,  Bar- 
tholomew Keeler,  and  Matthew  Swan,  the  present  incumbent.  The  Union  has 
had  to  record  the  death,  during  its  existence,  of  six  members,  who  in  their  life- 
time were  most  active  in  their  efforts  to  promote  the  welfare  of  the  society. 
They  are  as  follows :  Thomas  F.  Maher,  Edward  Maher,  Edward  Downey, 
Patrick  Mahon,  Patrick  H.  Magill,  Timothy  G.  M.  Fahy  and  Professor  Francis 
H.  Kennedy,  who  passed  away  much  regretted  by  the  association. 

"The  Club"  is  the  comprehensive  and  non-descriptive  title  of  a  literary 
organisation  of  high  standing,  which  for  thirty  years  has  been  in  the  habit  of 
meeting  in  alternate  weeks,  except  during  the  warm  weather,  at  the  house  of  one 
member  after  another,  to  listen  to  a  paper  read  by  one  of  the  club,  each  in 
turn  taking  his  part  as  the  contributor  for  the  evening,  and  the  others  taking 
up,  in  regular  order,  the  discussion  of  the  article  after  its  reading.  The  subject 
selected  for  treatment  is  in  each  case  at  the  choice  of  the  author,  but  naturally, 
as  a  general  rule,  in  the  line  of  his  tasks,  his  thoughts  or  his  studies  at  that 
time,  and  the  names  of  the  members  will,  of  themselves,  give  to  the  readers 
of  this  chapter  a  fair  intimation  of  the  nature,  at  least,  of  the  topics  upon 
which  the  different  discourses  are  founded.  A  preliminary  meeting,  for  the 
formation  of  the  club,  was  held  at  the  house  of  the  late  Lewis  H.  Morgan,  on 
the  evening  of  July  13th,  1854,  the  first  literary  session  being  on  the  7th  of 
the  following  November.  For  several  years  past  the  club  has  been  frequently 
called  "the  Pundit,"  but  this  appellation  is  disclaimed  by  those  belonging  to 
it.  The  following  arc  the  names  of  all  who  have  been  members,  the  first  six- 
teen being  of  those  who  are  at  present  actively  connected  with  it,  the  others 
of  those  who  have  died  or  withdrawn  from  membership  : — 

President  M.  B.  Anderson,  Prof.  A.  C.  Kendrick,  Prof.  A.  H.  Mixer,  Dr.  E.  M. 
Moore,  F.  L.  Durand,  F.  A.  Whittlesey,  Theodore  Bacon,  Prof.  S.  A.  Lattimore,  Presi- 
dent A.  H.  Strong,  Prof.  W.  C.  Wilkinson,  Dr.  W.  S.  Ely,  Prof.  W.  C.  Morey,  Prof. 
Howard  Osgood,  Oscar  Craig,  Dr.  E.  V.  Stoddard,  J.  Brack  Perkins,  Calvin  Huson,  jr.. 
Rev.  Dr.  J.  H.  Mcllvaine,  Lewis  H.  Morgan,  Prof.  J.  H.  Raymond,  E.  Peshine  Smith, 
Prof.  Chester  Dewey,  Judge  Harvey  Humphrey,  Prof.  J.  N.  Pomeroy,  S.  D.  Porter,  Dr. 
W.  W.  Ely,  S.  P.  Ely,  G.  H.  Ely,  Prof.  S.  S.  Cutting,  President  E.  G.  Robinson,  Rev. 
Henry  Fowler,  J.  W.  Dwinelle,  L.  A.  Ward,  Rev.  Dr.  G.  D.  Boardman,  Prof.  H.  A. 
Ward,  Dr.  H.  W.  Dean,  Judge  H.  R.  Selden,  Rev.  Dr.  Calvin  Pease,  G.  H.  Mumford, 
Judge  G.  F.  Danforth,  Rev.  Dr.  E.  D.  Yeoraans,  W.  F.  Cogswell,  Robert  Carter,  Prof. 
R.  J.  W.  Buckland,  Judge  E.  Darwin  Smith. 

Following  the  example  of  the  club  described  above,  a  few  persons  in  1881 
agreed  upon  the  advisability  of  establishing  a  similar  institution,  and  the  mat- 
ter took  shape  a  few  months  later,  when  the  first  session,  without  a  preliminary 
meeting,  was  held  on  the  23d  of  February,  of  "the  Fortnightly"  club,  which 
formed  its  organisation  by  the  single  act  of  electing  a  secretary.  Dr.  Dewey, 
who  has  acted  in  that  capacity  ever  since.  While  the  Fortnightly  has  no  or- 
ganic constitution  and  no  by-laws  of  any  kind,  its  customs  are  the  same  with 


222  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

those  of  the  older  body.  Its  meetings  are  held  every  alternate  Tuesday,  with- 
out exception,  from  the  middle  of  October  to  the  middle  of  May,  and  at  each 
an  original  paper  is  read.  The  first  members  were  C.  E.  Fitch,  M.  W.  Cooke, 
Judge  F.  A.  Macomber,  Dr.  C.  A.  Dewey,  Dr.  Porter  Farley,  Rev.  N.  M. 
Mann,  Robert  Mathews,  Rev.  Myron  Adams,  Dr.  C.  E.  Rider,  J.  P.  Varnum, 
Rev.  Dr.  Max  Landsberg,  Wm.  F.  Peck.  Since  the  beginning  Judge  Macom- 
ber has  withdrawn  and  W.  E.  Hoyt  and  Dr.  David  Little  have  been  elected  in. 

There  is  another  club  of  a  nature  similar  to  that  of  the  two  just  mentioned, 
the  membership  of  which  embraces  persons  of  both  sexes,  but,  as  it  has  pre- 
served its  anonymity  during  all  the  years  of  its  existence,  nothing  more  can  be 
said  about  it.  The  Browning  club  is  another  literary  coterie,  but  its  purpose  is 
the  discussion  of  the  works  of  standard  English  poets,  rather  than  the  reading 
of  original  papers. 

The  Shakespeare  club  was  organised  December  15th,  1865,  mainly  through 
the  efforts  of  Rev.  F.  W.  Holland.  Twenty-eight  persons  were  enrolled  as 
members  at  the  first  meeting.  The  average  attendance  at  present,  however,  is 
about  sixteen.  Meetings  are  held  every  Tuesday,  from  the  first  of  November 
until  the  first  of  May.  The  officers  are :  President,  James  L.  Angle ;  secre- 
tary, De  L.  Crittenden. 


CHAPTER     XXVni. 

associations— SCIENTIFIC,    SOCIAL,  POLITICAL,    ETC. 

The  Academy  of  Science  —  The  Rochester  Club  —  The  Rochester  Whist  Cluh  —  The  Eureka  Club 
—  The  Abelard  Club  —  The  Mutual  Club  —  The  Celtic  Club  —  The  Commercial  Travelers'  Club  — 
The  Irish  National  League  —  The  Civil  Service  Reform  Association  —  The  Lincoln  Club  —  The  River- 
side Rowing  Club  —  The  Canoe  Club. 

THE  Rochester  Microscopical  society  was  organised  January  13th,  1879,  by 
a  few  gentlemen  interested  in  scientific  studies.  The  question  of  organr 
ising  an  academy  of  science  was  considered ;  but  it  was  deemed  best  to  begin 
with  that  department  in  which  the  most  interest  was  then  manifested,  viz.,  mi- 
croscopy, and  afterward  extend  the  scope  of  the  society,  if  desired.  The  soci- 
ety grew  rapidly,  and  at  the  end  of  two  years  was  the  largest  organisation  of 
the  kind  in  the  United  States.  March  14th,  1881,  the  suggested  change  was 
effected,  the  scope  of  the  society  extended,  its  name  changed,  and  its  constitu- 
tion and  by-laws  revised.  Sections  have  been  formed  in  several  departments, 
and  considerable  work  is  being  done.  The  society  was  incorporated  May  14th, 
1 88 1,  as  the  Rochester  Academy  of  Science.     The  incorporators  were  the  ofii- 


Academy  of  Sciences.  —  Rochester  Club.  223 

cers  of  the  academy  for  1881:  Rev.  Myron  Adams,  president;  H.  Franklin 
Atwood,  vice-president ;  Charles  E.  Rider,  treasurer ;  Henry  C.  Maine,  secre- 
tary ;  Adelbcrt  Cronise,  corresponding  secretary ;  Samuel  A.  Lattimore,  Wil- 
liam Streeter  and  Cyrus  F.  Paine,  trustees. 

The  object  of  the  organisation  is  to  promote  scientific  study  and  research, 
and  especially  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  natural  history  of  that  part  of  the 
state  of  New  York  in  the  vicinity  of  Rochester,  and  to  make  permanent  collec- 
tions of  objects  illustrative  of  the  different  branches  of  science.  The  following 
sections  have  been  formed,  since  the  organisation  of  the  academy:  Anatomy, 
astronomy,  botany,  entomology,  conchology,  hygiene,  ichthyology,  infusoria, 
literature,  microscopy,  photography,  taxidermy.  Each  of  these  sections  is  or- 
ganised with  such  officers  as  the  members  may  deem  proper,  and  regular  meet- 
ings are  held.  The  meetings  of  the  academy  are  held  in  a  large  hall  in  the  Ar- 
cade, which  has  been  devoted  to  the  use  of  the  academy  by  the  owner,  Morti- 
mer F..  Reynolds.  The  membership  of  the  academy  is  nearly  300.  Good 
progress  has  been  made  in  the  various  departments  of  research.  Collections 
have  been  made  by  the  sections  of  botany  and  entomology.  The  section  of 
astronomy  is  well  equipped  with  instruments,  and  some  excellent  work  has 
been  done.  The  orbits  of  several  binary  stars  have  been  calculated,  the  sun  . 
has  been  successfully  photographed  and  systematic  observations  have  been 
made.  The  section  of  botany  has  nearly  completed  a  collection  of  the  flora 
of  Western  New  York.  The  section  of  microscopy  has  done  much  valuable 
work.  The  section  of  hygiene  has  organised  a  system  of  popular  lectures  on 
hygienic  subjects  that  have  proved  very  valuable.  The  section  of  anatomy  has 
conducted  lectures  illustrafed  by  dissections.  The  photographic  section  has 
done  excellent  work,  both  in  field-photography  and  in  micro-photography.i 

The  Rochester  club  was  formed  in  i860,  James  Terry  being  the  first  presi- 
dent, and  the  rooms  occupied  at  the  beginning  being  over. the  present  Bank  of 
Monroe.  A  few  years  later  a  change  of  location  was  made  to  the  Ellwanger 
&  Barry  block,  on  State  street,  and  in  1877  a  further  move  was  made  to  the 
luxurious  apartments  that  constitute  the  third  floor  of  the  Rochester  savings 
bank  building.  The  membership  of  the  club,  which  was  incorporated  in 
1869,  is  about  150,  the  number  having  been  only  slightly  increased  for  several 
years,  as  the  club  has  been  a  strong  one  from  its  inception.  The  present  offi- 
cers are:  A.  .M.  Bennett,  president;  H.  B.  Hathaway,  vice-president;  E.  B. 
Jennings,  secretary,  and  Levi  F.  Ward,  treasurer. 

In  October,  1882,  a  few  gentlemen  who  were  well  inclined  to  whist  formed 
an  organisation  called  the  Rochester  Whist  club,  for  the  purpose  of  playing  the 
game  and  improving  themselves  in  it,  the  name  adopted  being  descriptive  of 
the  general  object.  Rooms  were  taken  in  the  Cox  building,  on  the  corner  of 
Main  and  Water  streets,  but  in  a  short  time  the  membership  had  increased  to 

1  The  sketch  of  the  Academy  of  Science  was  kindly  furnished  by  Henry  C.  Maine. 


224  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

such  an  extent  —  partly  by  the  absorption  of  the  old  Audubon  club  —  that 
larger  accommodations  were  needed  and  the  association,  in  March,  1883,  moved 
to  the  Howe  building,  on  North  Fitzhugh  street.  In  the  course  of  the  last 
year  a  further  expansion  became  more  and  more  essential,  and  finally,  in  the 
early  part  of  this  year,  a  second  change  was  made,  the  club  taking  a  lease  of 
the  quarters  occupied  up  to  that  time  by  the  Windsor  club,  which  then  dis- 
solved. The  suite  of  commodious  and  elegant  apartments,  occupying  the  whole 
front  and  other  portions  of  the  third  floor  of  the  Ellwanger  &  Barry  block, 
consists  of  seven  rooms,  which  include  a  reception  room,  a  reading-room,  a 
billiard-room,  a  card-room,  an  eating-room,  etc.  '^The  club,  in  its  purposes  and 
its  pursuits,  has  long  since  outgrown  the  original  designs  of  its  founders,  but 
the  old  name  is  retained  and  under  that  title  it  was  incorporated  at  the  begin- 
ning of  this  year.  It  numbers,  at  present,  about  one  hundred  members.  The 
officers  for  the  year  are:  John  E.  Morey,  president;  William  Mudgett,  vice- 
president;  Homer  Jacobs,  secretary,  and  William  E.  Witherspoon,  treasurer. 
The  Phoenix  club  was  organised  in  1872  as  a  society  for  the  promotion  of 
social  intercourse  and  amusement  among  the  Jews.  It  erected  a  costly  build- 
ing on  North  Clinton  street,  and  was  in  a  flourishing  condition  until  1882,  when 
it  was  deemed  advisable  to  dissolve  the  club,  and  the  building  was  sold  to  the 
Odd  Fellows.  A  number  of  the  former  members  of  the  Phoenix  club  then 
banded  together  and  formed  the  Eureka  club  for  the  same  purposes.  They 
purchased  the  former  Barton  residence  and  transformed  it  into  a  luxurious 
club-house.  A  large  hall  and  a  bowling-alley  were  added  to  the  building, 
and  the  society  is  now  in  a  prosperous  condition.  The  officers  for  this  year 
are :  J.  W.  Rosenthal,  president ;  A.  J.  Katz,  vice-president ;  Benjamin  Munk, 
secretary ;  treasurer,  J.  Michaels. 

The  Abelard  club.  —  Only  Knights  Templar  are  eligible  to  membership 
in  this  club,  which  was  organised  in  1872  and  incorporated  in  1875.  It  num- 
bers more  than  one  hundred  and  is  one  of  the  most  influential  organisations  of 
the  kind  in  the  city.  It  has  three  rooms,  well  furnished,  on  an  upper  floor  of 
the  Powers  block.  The  officers  of  the  present  year  are  :  Charles  T.  Crouch, 
president;  Alfred  H.  Cork,  vice-president;  P.  S.  Wilson,  secretary,  and  N.  S. 
Phelps,  treasurer. 

The  Mutual  club  was  organised  on  the  22d  of  February,  1881,  and  rapidly 
increased  in  membership  till  it  attained  the  number  of  seventy-five.  It  differs 
from  all  social  clubs  in  this  city  in  that  the  wives  of  the  members  are  eligible 
to  election,  and  the  majority,  perhaps,  of  those  ladies  have  availed  themselves 
of  the  privilege.  One  evening  in  each  week  is  devoted  to  a  reunion  of  the 
members  of  the  club,  of  both  sexes,  at  the  rooms,  of  which  there  are  four,  in 
the  Powers  block.  The  present  officers  are  James  Sargent,  president ;  J.  W. 
Archer,  vice-president;  J.  Z.  Culver,  secretary,  and  H.  W.  Wilcox,  treasurer. 

The  Celtic  club,  whose  name  shows  the  nationality  of  its  members,  is  of  a 


Post  A,  C.  T.  A.  —  Irish  Mutual  League.  225 

social  character,  though  joining  with  that  an  efiTort  for  the  mutual  improvement 
of  its  constituents.  It  was  organised  ten  years  ago,  and  its  rooms  have  always 
been  in  the  Powers  block.  The  present  ofificers  are  :  J.  M.  Murphy,  president ; 
Edward  Julian,  vice-president ;  J.  J.  O'Byrne,  recording  secretary ;  William 
Gleason,  treasurer,  and  Michael  O'Connor,  financial  secretary. 

Post  A,  Commercial  Travelers'  association.  —  The  good-fellowship  and 
geniality  of  temperament  that  have  always  characterised  the  members  of  this 
association  led  them  to  form  themselves  into  a  social  organisation,  on  the  12th 
of  January  of  this  year,  both  for  the  recreation  of  those  who  reside  here,  and 
for  the  entertainment  of  those  of  the  brotherhood  who  might  be  stopping  here 
on  business.  Rooms  were  at  once  taken  on  North  Fitzhugh  street,  near  West 
Main,  and  the  readiness  with  which  the  local  "travelers"  joined  the  new  insti- 
tution showed  the  desirability  of  its  existence.  The  officers  are :  Abner  B. 
Wool,  president ;  H.  M.  Fuller  and  J.  C.  Bertholf,  vice-presidents ;  John  W. 
Taylor,  secretary  and  treasurer,  and  W.  H.  Horton,  recording  secretary. 

The  Monroe  county  branch  of  the  Irish  National  league  of  America,  hav- 
ing its  headquarters  in  Rochester,  came  into  existence  April  29th,  1883,  on 
which  day  the  principles  set  forth  two  days  before  by  a  convention  in  Phila- 
delphia, called  to  cooperate  with  the  Irish  National  league  of  Ireland,  were 
adopted  as  the  principles  of  the  new  organisation.  The  objects  which  the  Irish 
National  league  was  formed  to  attain  for  Ireland  are  national  self-government, 
land  law  reform;  local  self-government,  extension  of  the  parliamentary  and 
municipal  franchises,  and  the  development  and  encouragement  of  the  labor  and 
industrial  interests  of  Ireland.  The  principal  purpose  of  the  league  in  America 
is  to  earnestly  and  actively  sustain  the  Irish  National  league  in  Ireland,  with 
moral  and  material  aid  in  achieving  self-government  for  Ireland.  The  original 
society  from  which  the  local  society  sprang  was  the  Monroe  County  Irish  Na- 
tional Land  League  Relief  association,  which  was  organised  on  Sunday,  Feb- 
ruary 1st,  1880,  at  a  meeting  held  in  this  city  to  form  a  permanent  organisation 
to  assist  Ireland  materially  in  the  famine  then  prevailing  in  the  island,  and  to 
keep  up  agitation  against  the  system  of  land  tenure,  and  political  evils  imposed 
by  England  on  the  country,  until  those  evils  shall  be  removed.  Any  person 
was  eligible  to  membership  who  professed  sympathy  with  the  movement,  and 
paid  ten  cents  a  week  into  the  treasury. 

The  officers  of  the  society  during  the  first  year  were :  President,  William 
Purcell ;  vice-president,  A.  B.  Lamberton ;  corresponding  secretary,  Patrick 
Mahon  ;  treasurer,  Patrick  Cox  ;  financial  secretary,  Martin  Barron  ;  recording 
secretary,  George  F.  Flannery.  Dr.  J.  W.  Casey  was  elected  president  for  the 
years  1881  and  1882,  but  declined  the  third  term,  and  was  succeeded  by  H.  P. 
Mulligan,  who,  in  1884,  had  as  his  successor  Bartholomew  Keeler,  the  incum- 
bent at  date  of  writing.  No  salary  whatever  is  paid  any  of  the  officers.  The 
society,  in  addition  to  weekly  meetings,  at  which  European  and  American  pub- 


226  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

lie  men  have  spoken  in  behalf  of  the  purposes  of  the  league,  has  also  printed 
and  distributed  free  in  America  and  Europe  thousands  of  documents  relating 
to  the  agitation  in  which  it  is  engaged.  The  money  which  it  has  collected  and 
sent  to  Ireland  amounts  at  this  date  to  $i2,ooo.  The  last  declaration  of  con- 
sequence made  by  the  league  previous  to  the  writing  of  this  sketch  was  to 
pledge  itself  to  pay  salaries  to  those  Irish  members  of  parliament  who  are 
faithful  to  the  interests  of  Ireland,  but  whose  own  means  are  not  enough  to 
support  them  while  attending  exclusively  to  legislative  duties.  ^ 

The  Civil  Service  Reform  association  was  organised  on  the  26th  of  Octo- 
ber, 1882,  having  for  its  immediate  object  the  passage  of  laws  opening  appoint- 
ment in  the  civil  service  of  the  United  States  to  those  who  might  satisfactorily 
pass  a  competitive  examination.  It  was  constituted  in  affiliation  with'  the  more 
general  association  in  the  city  of  New  York.  Shortly  after  its  formation  Con- 
gress passed  the  so-called  "Pendleton  bill,"  by  which  the  principal  object  of 
the  association  was  accomplished,  and  a  little  later  the  legislature  of  New  York 
enacted  a  similar  law  with  regard  to  this  state.  The  society  subsequently  be- 
came a  member  of  the  National  Civil  Service  Reform  league,  and  Dr.  E.  M. 
Moore  was  chosen  as  the  representative  vice-president  and  member  of  the  ex- 
ecutive committee  of  the  league.  At  its  first  meeting  the  association  chose  the 
following- named  officers,  who  have  been  twice  reelected,  and  who  are  the 
present  incumbents :  President,  Dr.  E.  M.  Moore ;  vice-presidents,  C.  E.  Eitch, 
Oilman  H.  Perkins,  James  L.  Angle,  Max  Landsberg,  Louis  Ernst,  Patrick 
Barry,  A.  S:  Mann ;  secretary.  Porter  Farley ;  treasurer,  F.  W.  Elwood  ;  ex- 
ecutive committee,  Theodore  Bacon,  L.  P.  Ross,  J.  P.  Varnum,  D.  D.  Sully, 
John  Fahy,  S.  P.  Moore,  Wm.  F.  Peck. 

The  Lincoln  club  is,  to  a  great  extent,  political  in  its  nature,  but  its  activi- 
ty is  not  confined  to  election  campaigns,  nor  do  party  politics  engross  its 
attention,  for  lectures,  prepared  by  its  members  and  by  outsiders,  are  frequently 
delivered  before  it,  and  one  of  the  principal  objects  of  the  club  is  to  familiarise 
its  members  with  the  principles  of  civil  government.  The  first  meeting  was 
held  in  October,  1 879,  and  was  attended  by  some  twenty  members.  Pomeroy 
P.  Dickinson  was  elected  to  the  presidency,  an  office  which  he  held  two  years. 
The  membership  increased  so  rapidly  that  in  1880  the  club  rooms  on  State 
street  were  found  inadequate,  and  a  move  was  made  to  the  supervisors'  room 
in  the  court-house,  which  they  occupied  until  February,  1882,  when  arrange- 
ments were  made  for  the  use  of  the  large  hall  on  the  corner  of  West  Main 
street  and  Plymouth  avenue,  which  they  still  occupy.  The  officers  for  the 
year  are :  President,  William  E.  Werner ;  vice-president,  W.  F.  Kislingbury ; 
recording  secretary,  C.  C.  Werner ;  corresponding  secretary,  J.  F.  Tallinger ; 
financial  secretary,  Frederick  A.  Frick;  treasurer,  Williarn  H.  Higgins. 

The  Riverside  Rowing  club  is  exclusively  amateur,    and  was   organised 

I  The  sketch  of  the  National  league  was  kindly  furnished  by  Edmond  Redmond. 


Rochester  Canoe  Club.  227 

September  7th,  1869,  for  the  promotion,  and  encouragement  of  social  and 
friendly  intercourse,  physical  culture,  and  improvement  in  the  art  of  rowing. 
The  club-house  is  on  the  river,  at  the  foot  of  Griffith  street.  At  the  annual 
meeting  held  Wednesday,  April  2d,  1884,  the  following  officers  were  elected 
for  the  ensuing  year:  President,  Robert  Mathews;  vice-president,  F.  W.  El- 
wood  ;  captain,  D.  D.  Sully ;  secretary,  James  Montgomery  ;  treasurer,  Thomas 
H.  Husband;  executive  committee,  Frank  C.  Fenn,A.  E.  Perkins. 

The  Rochester  Canoe  club.  —  The  idea  of  forming  a  canoe  club  in  this  city 
originated  with  George  H.  Harris  and  M.  B.  Turpin,  who,  after  many  attempts, 
succeeded  in  gathering  together  a  few  persons  interested  in  aquatic  sports  and 
perfecting  an  organisation.  At  a  meeting  held  September  29th,  1882,  a  con- 
stitution was  adopted,  and  the  following  officers  were  elected :  President,  Geo. 
H.  Harris ;  vice-president,  M.  B.  Turpin ;  secretary  and  treasurer,  J.  M.  An- 
gle ;  captain,  A.  E.  Dumble ;  first  officer,  F.  W.  Storms.  The  object  of  its 
originators,  as  expressed  in  article  second  of  the  constitution,  is  "to  unite  ama- 
teur canoeists  for  purposes  of  health,  pleasure,  exploration,  historical  research, 
and  for  the  preservation  of  maps,  drawings,  details  and  objects  of  interest  to 
canoemen."  The  club  is  in  a  very  prosperous  condition,  having  a  large  and 
enthusiastic  membership,  many  canoes,  and  commodious  quarters  at  the  New- 
port House,  on  Irondequoit  bay.  The  officers  for  the  year  are :  Captain,  F. 
W.  Andrews;   mate,  Edward  Gilmore ;  purser,  J.  M.  Angle. 

There  are  of  course  a  legion  of  other  clubs  and  societies  of  various  kinds  in 
this  city,  which  might  be  mentioned  in  this  chapter.  Many  of  them  are  de- 
scribed or  alluded  to  in  different  parts  of  this  work  —  such  as  the  chapters  on 
"Rochester's  German  Elemen^"  and  "the  Fine  Arts  in  Rochester"  —  render- 
ing unnecessary  a  recapitulation  of  them  here ;  in  the  case  of  others  the  most 
painstaking  inquiries  on  the  part  of  the  editor  were  met  with  evasions  which 
seemed  to  indicate  a  wish  for  obscurity;  while  others,  still,  appeared  so  transi- 
tory in  their  existence,  or  so  circumscribed  in  their  scope,  as  to  exclude  them 
from  a  work  of  this  nature. 


228  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

CHAPTER   XXIX. 

the  ERIE  CANAL. 

Its  Origin  —  Vague  Ideas  of  Gouverneur  Morris  —  Definite  Conception  of  Jesse  Hawley  —  Legis- 
lative Action  in  1808  —  l)e  Witt  Clinton  Appears  —  Canal  Commissioners  Appointed  in  1816  —  My- 
ron Holley  and  llis  Great  Services  —  Important  Meeting  at  Canan<laigua  —  Opposition  at  Albany  — 
Work  Begun  July  4tli,  1817  —  The  Canal  Completed  October  24tli,  1825  — The  Grand  Celebration  — 
Enlargement  of  the  Canal  —  Great  Convention  in  this  City  —  Canal  Statistics  —  Tlie  (lenesee  Valley 
Canal. 

WHO  proposed  the  Erie  canal?  The  answef  to  that  question,  apparently 
so  easy  to  be  given,  is  impossible  of  attainment.  Like  many  other  of 
the  great  events  in  the  world's  history,  the  project  of  the  Erie  canal  was  not  a 
definite,  episodical  enterprise,  but  a  growth,  a  development  from  intangible, 
almost  inappreciable  beginnings  in  the  minds  of  men.  The  time  of  its  concep- 
tion is;  naturally,  equally  indefinite,  but  if  any  period  must  be  set  let  it  be  that 
of  the  last  year 'of  the  last  century.  Taking  that  as  the  date,  Gouverneur 
Morris  may  be  said  to  be  the  originator  of  the  idea,  but  his  thoughts  were  so 
vague  in  the  matter  that  he  himself  would  have  been  the  last  person  to  claim 
the  real  parentage  of  the  scheme.  In  1800,  while  on  a  tour  to  Niagara  falls, 
he  became  impressed  with  the  navigable  capacities  of  the  country  and  wrote  to 
a  European  correspondent :  "  One-tenth  part  of  the  expense  borne  by  Britain  in 
the  last  campaign  would  enable  ships  to  sail  from  London  through  the  Hudson 
river  into  Lake  Erie."  In  1803  he  spoke  to  Simeon  De  Witt,  then  surveyor- 
general  of  the  state,  of  the  possibility  of  tapping  Lake  Erie,  but  the  probability 
is  that  he  had  in  mind  a  project  for  building  a  series  of  locks  around  Niagara 
falls,  thus  enabling  vessels  to  pass  into  Lake  Ontario  and  get  from  there  into  the 
Hudson  by  improving  the  natural  watercourses  between  the  mouth  of  the  Os- 
wego river  and  the  Mohawk,  from  whence  a  serjes  of  short  canals  should  take 
them  into  the  Hudson. 

Jesse  Hawley,  afterward  a  resident  of  Rochester,  was  the  first  to  place  the 
subject  conspicuously  and  clearly  before  the  people,  in  a  number  of  essays  that 
appeared  in  1807-08  over  the  signature  of  "Hercules"  in  a  Pittsburg  paper  and 
in  the  Genesee  Messenger,  published  at  Canandaigua.  In  these  he  marked  out 
a  route  nearly  the  same  as  that  subsequently  adopted,  except  that  he  proposed 
to  use  the  Mohawk  river  as  one  of  the  connecting  links.  While  these  articles 
of  Mr.  Hawley's  awakened  public  interest  in  the  subject,  it  is  doubtful  if  they 
were  the  immediate  cause  of  legislation.  Benjamin  Wright,  of  Rome,  N.  Y.,  in 
a  long  letter  to  the  New  York  Observer  in  1866,  claims  the  honor  of  that  for 
his  father,  Judge  Wright,  a  member  of  thcvAssembly  in  1808,  who,  he  says, 
being  interested  in  an  article  on  "Canals"  just  then  published  in  Rees's  Cyclo- 
pedia, engaged  Joshua  Forman,  a  member  from  Onondaga  county,  in  the  work, 
the  result  being  that  on  the  4th  of  February,  1808,  Mr.  Forman  introduced  a 
resolution,  which  Mr.  Wright  seconded  and  which  was  adopted,  that 


The  Erie  Canal.  229 


"A  joint  committee  be  appointed  to  take  into  consideration  the  propriety  of  ex- 
])loring  and  causing  an  accurate  survey  to  be  made  of  the  most  eligible  and  direct  route 
for  a  canal  to  open  a  communication  between  the  tide-waters  of  the  Hudson  river  and 
I^ake  Erie,  to  the  end  that  Congress  may  be  enabled  to  appropriate  such  sums  as  may  be 
necessary  to  the  accomplishment  of  that  great  national  object." 

For  the  expenses  of  this  survey  an  appropriation  of  $600  was  made,  and 
in  the  following  June  Surveyor-General  De  Witt  appointed  James  Geddes  to 
do  the  work.  In  opposition  to  the  spirit  of  Mr.  Forman's  resolution,  and  in 
spite  of  the  fact  that  Joseph  Ellicott,  the  agent  of  the  Holland  Land  company, 
had  in  letters  to  the  surveyor-general  traced  a  practicable  route  from  Lake 
ICrie  to  the  Genesee  river,  with  the  assurance  likewise  that  it  could  be  extended  to 
the  Seneca  river,  the  instructions  to  Mr.  Geddes  were  such  as  to  distinctly 
favor  the  route  involving  the  navigation  of  Lake  Ontario  for  a  great  propor- 
tion of  the  distance.  Mr.  Geddes  in  1809  made  his  report,  which  seems  to 
have  detailed  almost  every  conceivable  plan  but  the  right  one,  and  to  have 
favored,  for  this  part  of  the  state,  a  ridiculous  system  of  communication  "  up 
the  valley  of  Mud  creek  and  across  the  country  to  the  Genesee  river,  thence 
up  Black  creek  to  the  Tonnewanta  swamp  and  down  the  Tonnewanta  creek  to 
the  Niagara  river  and  up  the  same  to  Lake  Erie."  The  way  in  which  the 
work  was  done  may  be  seen  from  his  statement  that  "  almost  everything  re- 
specting this  space  has  been  supplied  by  conjectures  formed  from  appearances 
on  the  map."  Nothing  further  was  done  in  the  matter  by  the  legislature  till 
1 8 10,  when  a  resolution  was  adopted  appointing  "seven  commissioners  to  ex- 
plore the  whole  route  for  inland  navigation  from  the  Hudson  river  to  Lake  On- 
tario and  to  Lake  Erie." 

De  Witt  Clinton  now  comes  to  the  front  as  the  most  earnest  advocate  of  the 
canal  pohcy,  and  his  speech  in  the  Senate  in  favor  of  that  resolution  wa,s  the 
beginning  of  a  line  of  conduct  which  earned  for  him  the  enduring  title  of  "  the 
father  of  the  Erie  canal."  The  commissioners  thereby  appointed  were  Gouv- 
erneur  Morris,  Stephen  Van  Rensselaer,  De  Witt  Clinton,  Simeon  De  Witt, 
William  North,  Thomas  Eddy  and  Peter  B.  Porter.  The  commissioners  did 
their  work  with  thoroughness,  Mr.  Clinton  going  through  this  region,  fording 
the  river  about  where  the  jail  now  stands  and  going  down  to  Hanford's  Land- 
ing to  lodge  for  the  night.  In  181 1  the  members  made  a  report,  drawn  up 
by  Mr.  Morris,  "proposing  a  project  which,  although  the  signature  of  all  the 
commissioners  was  attached,  was  entertained  seriously  by  no  other  member  of 
the  board."  It  was,  in  effect,  Mr.  Hawley's  original  plan,  "to  bring  the  waters 
of  the  lake,  on  one  continued  uninterrupted  plane,  with  an  inclination  of  six 
inches  in  every  mile,  to  a  basin  to  be  formed  near  the  Hudson,  from  whence 
there  was  to  be  a  descent  by  a  great  number  of  locks."  A  bill  was  immedi- 
ately passed  increasing  the  number  of  commissioners  by  adding  Robert  R.  Liv- 
ingston and  Robert  Fulton  and  authorising  them  to  apply  to  Congress  for 
cooperation   and  aid,  on  the  ground  that  it  was  a  national  work.  This  applica- 


230  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

tion  was  transmitted  to  Congress  in  December,  1811,  by  President  Madison, 
but  it  was  fruitless,  and  an  appeal  to  different  states  resulted  in  best  wishes  from 
some,  disapproval  from  others  and  money  from  none.  In  18 12  the  commis- 
sioners made  a  second  report  to  the  legislature,  and  a  bill  was  passed  author- 
ising them  to  borrow  five  millions  of  dollars  for  the  construction  of  the  canal, 
but  the  war  with  England,  which  broke  out  at  that  time,  so  engrossed  the  minds 
of  people  that  nothing  was  done  and  in  18 14  the  bill  was  repealed  —  a  fortu- 
nate measure,  as  every  cent  borrowed  on  account  of  the  canal  was  obtained  of 
our  own  citizens,  instead  of  having  the  loan  placed  abroad  at  a  discount.  At 
the  close  of  181 5  a  large  public  meeting  was  held  in  New  York,  as  an  out- 
come of  which  De  Witt  Clinton,  as  chairman  of  a  committee  then  appointed, 
draughted  the  document  known  as  "the  New  York  Memorial,"  which  caused 
petitions  favorable  to  the  construction  of  the  canal  to  be  poured  in  from  all 
quarters  upon  the  legislature. 

Still  that  body,  averse  to  action,  did  nothing  in  18 16  except  to  create  a 
board  of  canal  commissioners  whose  duties  were  "to  construct  canals  from  the 
Hudson  river  to  Lakes  Erie  and  Champlain."  The  board  consisted  of  Stephen 
Van  Rensselaer,  De  Witt  Clinton,  Joseph  Ellicott,  Samuel  Young  and  Myron 
Holley.  The  last  named  gentleman  then  resided  in  Lyons,  but  a  few  years 
after  he  moved  to  this  neighborhood  and  identified  himself  with  the  interests  of 
Rochester,  though  he  lived  outside  of  the  city  limits  in  a  beautiful  place  on  the 
east  bank  of  the  river,  just  north  of  the  Ridge  road,  which  for  many  years  after 
his  death  was  known  as  the  "Holley  farm."  One  of  the  most  pure-minded  and 
public-spirited  of  our  citizens,  he  devoted  his  life  to  the  enlightened  service  of 
his  fellow-men,  and  his  efforts  in  behalf  of  this  great  medium  of  commerce, 
which  place  him  beside  De  Witt  Clinton  as  one  of  the  benefactors  of  the  state, 
were  only  a  portion  of  the  good  deeds  which  he  did  for  the  commonwealth. 
On  the  8th  of  January,  18 17,  a  meeting  was  held  at  Canandaigua,  of  citizens 
from  most  of  the  towns  of  Ontario  county  (which  then  included  part  of  the  site 
of  Rochester.)  Few  unofficial  meetings  have  been  more  imposing  than  that 
one,  from  the  character,  talent  and  eminence  of  those  attending  it.  Colonel 
Troup  was  the  chairman,  Colonel  Rochester  the  secretary,  and  the  first  address 
was  made  by  Gideon  Granger,  then  lately  postmaster-general.  After  that  John  ■ 
Greig  offered  a  series  of  resolutions,  which  were  unanimously  adopted,  drawn 
up  by  Mr.  Holley  and  exhibiting  with  great  force  the  transcendent  advantages 
that  would  result  from  a  direct  navigation  between  the  .Hudson  and  Lake  Erie. 

To  the  action  of  this  meeting  may  be  ascribed,  in  great  part,  the  wise  and 
liberal  policy  that  was  finally  adopted  by  the  legislature,  but  before  that  was 
accomplished  the  most  exasperating  opposition  had  to  be  overcome.  Governor 
Tompkins  urged  the  subject  upon  the  attention  of  the  two  houses,  and  a  law 
was  passed  in  April  authorising  the  commencement  of  the  canals.  The  strug- 
gle against  it  in   the  Senate  was  very  bitter  and  it  would   have  been  defeated 


The  Erie  Canal.  231 


but  for  Martin  VanBuren,  who,  though  a  violent  political  opponent  of  Mr.  Clin- 
ton, had  the  sagacity  to  perceive  the  advantage  which  would  accrue  to  the 
state,  to  his  party  and  to  himself  by  the  adoption  of  the  measure  and  who 
therefore  spoke  strongly  in  its  favor.  But  the  danger  was  not  yet  over,  for  the 
members  of  the  council  of  revision  were  divided  on  the  subject,  Lieutenant- 
Governor  Taylor  —  who  was  then  acting  governor,  as  Governor  Tompkins  had 
become  vice-president  of  the  United  States  in  the  previous  month  —  being  in- 
tensely hostile  to  it,  so  that  it  required  the  vote  of  Chancellor  Kent,  who 
changed  his  mind  at  the  last  moment,  to  ratify  the  act  of  the  legislature  and 
thus  make  it  into  a  law  on  the  1 5  th  of  April.  It  was  a  splendid  victory  for  New 
York's  great  statesman,  who  could  afford  to  disregard  the  jeers  that  both  before 
and  after  that  were  thrown  out  against  "Clinton's  big  ditch."  The  bill  which  so 
narrowly  escaped  defeat  was,  after  all,  not  so  complete  as  it  should  have  been  and 
merely  authorised  the  commissioners  to  connect  by  canals  and  locks  the  Mohawk 
and  Seneca  rivers.  It  established  a  board  of  commissioners  of  the  canal  fund, 
with  power  to  contract  loans,  the  interest  on  which  was  to  be  paid  out  of  a  fund 
consisting  of  a  small  tax  on  salt  made  at  the  springs  belonging  to  the  state, 
part  of  the  duties  accruing  from  sales  at  auction,  donations  of  lands  from  indi- 
viduals or  companies  to  be  benefited  by  the  canal  (such  as  tracts  of  100,000 
acres  from  the  Holland  Land  company,  1,000  from  Gideon  Granger,  1,000 
from  John  Greig,  as  agent  of  the  Hornby  estate,  etc.),  the  proceeds  of  some 
lotteries,  a  tax  on  steamboat  passengers  and  a  future  tax  of  $250,000  on  lands 
lying  within  twenty-five  miles  of  the  canal.'  The  last-named  tax  was  never 
levied,  the  steamboat  tax  was  not  collected  and  no  assistance  was  ever  derived 
from  the  lotteries.  Work  was  begun  on  the  4th  of  July,  1817,  on  the  middle 
section,  from  Utica  to  the  Seneca  river,  which  was  all  that  the  commissioners 
had  power  to  do  at  the  beginning.  As  the  labor  progressed,  it  became  a  mat- 
ter of  uncertainty,  first,  as  to  whether  the  canal  should  be  completed  at  all ; 
secondly,  as  to  whether  it  should  go  by  the  overland  route  or  by  the  Oswego 
route,  as  it  was  called,  that  is  by  way  of  Lake  Ontario,  with  locks  around 
Niagara  falls ;  or,  thirdly,  where  it  should  cross  the  Genesee,  if  it  crossed  it  at 
all.  A  limited  appropriation  was  granted  by  the  legislature  in  18 19,  enabling 
the  commissioners  to  extend  their  operations  over  lines  not  previously  surveyed 
and  let  out,  and  Mr.  Holley  took  advantage  of  that  to  send  an  engineer  in  July 
of  that  year  to  Rochester  to  decide  as  to  where  the  Genesee  should  be  crossed 
and  to  survey  the  line  eastward  from  that  point  to  Montezuma,  which  was  the 
end  of  the  middle  section.  This  was  done  in  September,  as  has  been  noted  in 
another  chapter,  and  it  effectually  settled  the  question  as  between  Rochester, 
Carthage  and  Black  creek  for  the  crossing  of  the  river,  but  it  did  not  at  all  de- 
cide the  fate  of  the  overland  route.  The  canal  board  was  understood  to  be 
divided  on  the  question,  and  a  meeting  was  held  in  this  city  at  the  counting- 
room  of  John  G.  Bond  to  give  expression  to  the  popular  feeling  on  the  subject. 


232  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

A  paper  which  was  there  drawn  up  by  Enos  Pomeroy  was  circulated  far  and 
wide,  with  the  signatures  of  Roswell  Hart,  Ira  West,  Charles  J.  Hill,  John  G. 
Bond,  Samuel  J.  Andrews,  Benjamin  Blossom  and  several  others.  It  was 
headed  "Canal  in  Danger,"  and  besides  urging  the  completion  of  the  work  on 
the  northern  route  it  advocated  the  election  of  Governor  Clinton  and  his  friends 
to  the  legislature.  It  may  have  had  effect  in  both  ways,  for  Daniel  D.  Tomp- 
kins was  defeated  by  a  small  majority  at  the  polls  in  his  effort  to  "change  back" 
and  to  surrender  the  vice-presidency  for  the  governorship  which  he  had  pre- 
viously resigned,  and  "the  Rochester  hand-bill"  was  always  thought  to  have 
had  much  to  do  with  his  discomfiture.  In  October,  1819,  the  middle  section 
was  finished,  and  the  commissioners  then,  by  a  majority  vote,  gave  out  con- 
tracts from  Rochester  to  Palmyra.  In  spite  of  that  the  danger  was  not  entirely 
past,  for  when  the  legislature  met  in  1820  a  desperate  effort  was  made  by  the 
friends  of  the  Oswego  route  to  stop  work  upon  the  western  section  until  the 
eastern  section  was  completed  and  the  Champlain  canal  also  was  finished.  The 
scheme  failed,  and  from  that  time  the  success  of  the  overland  route  in  a  con- 
tinuous line  from  the  Hudson  to  Lake  Erie  was  assured. 

As  the  work  progressed,  all  the  towns  along  the  route  took  advantage  of 
the  new  mode  of  transportation  opened  to  them,  for  water  was  let  into  the 
different  sections  and  even  parts  of  sections  as  fast  as  they  were  completed. 
Rochester  was  among  the  foremost  in  using  the  channel,  especially  for  the  ship- 
ment of  flour,  as  may  be  seen  by  the  statement  that  from  April  26th  to  May 
6th,  1823,  10,000  barrels  of  it  were  shipped  from  here  for  Albany  and  New 
York.  It  must,  however,  have  been  taken  off  at  some  point  west  of  Albany, 
for  it  was  not  till  November  of  that  year  that  boats  from  here  entered  the  basin 
at  that  place,  along  with  the  first  boats  that  passed  through  the  Champlain 
canal,  then  just  completed.  The  task  of  cutting  through  the  mountain  ridge 
at  the  point  where  Lockport  now  stands,  and  constructing  the  admirable  locks 
which  have  given  its  name  to  that  city,  was  a  formidable  one,  taking  up  all  of 
1824  and  most  of  1825.  On  the  24th  of  October  in  the  latter  year  the  guard 
gates  at  Lockport  were  raised,  the  long  level  east  of  that  place  was  filled  and 
the  grandest  work  on  this  continent,  up  to  that  time,  was  finished.  The  ex- 
pense of  constructing  it  was  a  little  over  seven  millions  of  dollars.  Its  entire 
length  was  originally  363  miles,  of  which  the  western  section,  from  Montezuma 
to  Buffalo,  embraced  158,  with  twenty-one  locks  and  a  fall  of  106  feet.  Of 
the  various  commissioners  who  held  office  during  the  work,  not  all  were  "act- 
ing commissioners,"  and  Myron  HoUey,  who  had  by  his  speeches,  his  writings 
and  his  votes  dope  more  than  all  the  others  to  secure  the  adoption  of  the 
course  that  was  substantially  the  same  as  that  originally  proposed  by  Jesse 
Hawley,  was  very  properly  the  one  who  had  almost  the  entire  charge  of  the 
work  on  this  section.  Of  the  nine  engineers  employed  on  the  whole  canal, 
three  were  residents  of  this  city  in  1838,  if  not  before,  viz.:  Nathan  S.  Roberts, 


The  Erie  Canal.  233 


David  S.  Bates  and  Valentine  Gill.  The  second  named,  Judge  Bates,  died  to- 
ward the  close  of  that  year,  after  having  been  the  chief-engineer  of  all  the 
canals  in  the  state  of  Ohio  (at  least  of  all  those  constructed  up  to  the  time  of 
his  death)  and  of  the  ship  canal  around  the  falls  at  Louisville,  Ky. 

Of  course  a  monster  celebration  had  to  take  place  on  the  completion  of  the 
work,  and  to  make  the  knowledge  of  it  as  nearly  instantaneous  as  was  possible 
in  those  days  large  cannon  were  stationed  at  short  distances  all  the  way  from 
Buffalo  to  Sandy  Hook.  On  the  morning  of  the  26th  of  October  the  first  sig- 
nal gun,  at  our  neighbor  city,  announced  that  the  mooring  lines  had  been  cast 
off  from  the  leading  boat  of  the  flotilla  that  was  to  bear  Governor  Clinton,  the 
canal  commissioners  and  other  prominent  citizens  from  Lake  Erie  to  the 
metropolis  of  America  and  the  waters  of.  the  Atlantic  ocean.  Instantly  the 
next  gun  responded  and  then  the  others,  in  succession  so  rapid  that  in  one 
hour  and  twenty  minutes  the  final  report  gave  the  news  to  listening  ears  in 
the  streets  of  New  York.  The  opening  ceremonies  at  Buffalo  were  attended 
by  a  committee  from  this  place,  of  which  Jesse  Hawley  was  the  chairman 
and  that  gentleman  made  on  the  occasion  a  brief  and  appropriate  address,  to 
which  Oliver  Forward  responded  on  behalf  of  the  citizens  of  Buffalo.  The 
triumphal  procession  stopped  at  all  principal  points  on  the  line  of  the  voy- 
age, which  ended  on  the  4th  of  November,  with  a  crowning  celebration 
at  New  York.  The  proceedings  here,  on  the  27th  of  October,  were  ushered 
in  by  a  drizzling  rain,  but  in  spite  of  that  eight  companies  of  handsomely  uni- 
formed militia  turned  out  at  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  and  formed  in  line  on 
thetowpath,  with  an  immense  concourse  of  spectators  scattered  over  all  avail- 
able points.  As  the  boats  from  the  west  appeared  in  sight  they  were  greeted 
with  a  fusillade  of  musketry  from  the  companies,  and  when  they  reached  the 
aqueduct  they  found  the  entrance  guarded  by  the  boat  Young  Lion  of  the 
West.  Those  on  board  of  this  sentinel  craft  hailed  the  Seneca  Chief,  which  was 
in  the  van  of  the  procession,  and  a  colloquy  took  place,  in  these  words :  — 

"Who  conies  there?" 

"  Your  brethren  of  the  west,  from  the  waters  of  the  great  lakes." 

"  By  what  means  have  they  been  diverted  from  their  natural  course  ?  " 

"  By  the  channel  of  the  grand  Erie  canal." 

"By  whose  authority  and  by  whom  was  a  work  of  such  magnitude  accomplished  ?" 

"  By  the  authority  and  enterprise  of  the  patriotic  people  of  the  state  of  New  York." 

"  All  right !     Pass." 

The  Young  Lion  then  gave  way  and  the  Seneca  Chief  was  allowed  to  enter 
Child's  basin,  at  the  end  of  the  aqueduct.  As  the  boats  passed  into  the  basin, 
they  were  greeted  with  a  salute  from  heavy  artillery  under  command  of  Cap- 
tain Ketchum,  and  from  field-guns  commanded  by  Captain  Jacob  Gould.  The 
Rochester  and  Canandaigua  committees  of  congratulation  then  took  their  places 
under  an  arch  surmounted  by  an  eagle,  and  the  Seneca  Chief,  having  the  com- 
mittees on  board,  being  moored.  Gen.  Vincent  Mathews  and   John  C.  Spencer 


234  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

offered  the  congratulations  of  the  citizens  of  the  respective  villages.  Appro- 
priate reply  was  made,  and  then,  disembarking,  a  procession  was  formed,  which 
marched  to  the  First  Presbyterian  church,  where  Rev.  Joseph  Penney  offered 
prayer,  and  Timothy  Childs  pronounced  an  able  and  eloquent  address.  The 
company  then  marched  to  the  Mansion  House,  kept  by  Christopher,  and  enjoyed 
a  sumptuous  dinner.  Gen.  Mathews  presided,  assisted  by  Jesse  Hawley  and 
■Jonathan  Child.  Among  many  toasts  were  the  following  :  By  his  excellency — 
"Rochester,  —  in  1810  I  saw  it  without  a  house  or  an  inhabitant.  In  1825  I 
see  it  the  nucleus  of  an  opulent  and  populous  city,  and  the  central  point  of  nu- 
merous and  transcendent  blessings."  And  by  the  lieutenant-governor  — "  The 
village  of  Rochester,  —  it  stands  upon  a  rock,  where  the  most  useful  of  streams 
laves  its  feet.  Its  age  promises  to  attain  the  acme  of  greatness. "  At  half-past 
seven  the  visitors  reenibarked,  and  the  squadron  departed  joined  by  the  Young 
Lion  of  the  West,  with  the  following  citizens  of  Rochester  as  a  committee,  for 
New  York  :  Elisha  B.  Strong,  Levi  Ward,  Wm.  B.  Rochester,  Abelard  Reynolds, 
Elisha  Johnson,  General  E.  S.  Beach,  A.  Strong,  and  B.  F.  Hurlbut.  Of  this 
number  none  are  now  living,  Mr.  Reynolds  being  the  last  to  pass  away,  after 
being  the  sole  survivor  for  many  years. 

Even  at  the  outset  the  canal  was  considered  to  be  too  small  for  the  business 
that  was  likely  to  be  done  through  it,  and,  as  time  wore  on,  the  inadequacy  of 
its  original  dimensions,  which  were  forty  feet  in  width  by  four  in  depth,  became 
apparent  to  all.  On  the  2 1st  of  September,  1835,  a  meeting  was  held  at  the 
court-house  in  Rochester,  at  which  the  mayor,  Jacob  Gould,  presided,  with  E. 
Darwin  Smith  as  secretary,  when  a  memorial  and  a  series  of  resolutions,  drawn 
up  by  Myron  Holley,  were  adopted,  favoring  the  enlargement.  These  were,  as 
had  been  directed,  forwarded  to  the  canal  board,  which,  at  its  meeting  a  month 
later,  decided  on  increasing  the  dimensions  to  seventy  feet  by  seven,  but  to  do 
it  by  means  of  the  surplus  tolls  alone.  This  was  felt  to  be  too  slow  a  process, 
and  another  meeting  was  held  here  on  the  30th  of  December,  1836,  presided 
over  by  James  Seymour,  with  S.  G.  Andrews  as  secretary,  and  addressed  by 
Dr.  Brown,  General  Gould  and  Henry  O'Rielly.  As  the  outcome  of  this  a 
canal  convention  was  held  here  on  the  i8th  of  January,  1837,  one  of  the  largest 
conventions  that  ever  took  place  in  Western  New  York,  with  Nathan  Dayton, 
of  Lockport,  as  president,  with  a  long  array  of  vice-presidents  and  secre- 
taries. After  stirring  speeches  from  a  great  number  of  eminent  men,  urging 
the  procurement  of  a  loan  anticipating  the  revenue,  so  that  the  work  could  be- 
gin at  once,  the  following  persons  were  appointed  as  a  central  executive  com- 
mittee at  Rochester,  to  take  all  proper  measures  for  placing  the  subject  fully 
before  the  people,  and  by  memorials  before  the  legislature :  Henry  O'Rielly, 
James  Seymour,  Jonathan  Child,  E.  Darwin  Smith,  S.  G.  Andrews,  Thomas 
H.  Rochester,  Horace  Gay,  Frederick  Whittlesey,  Orlando  Hastings,  Everard 
Peck,  A.  M.  Schermerhorn,  Thomas  Kempshall  and  Joseph  Field.     This  com- 


The  Erie  Canal,  235 


mittee,  in  conjunction  with  one  at  Buffalo,  presented  a  bill  to  the  legislature, 
authorising  the  expenditure  of  half  a  million  dollars  annually,  in  addition  to 
the  surplus  revenue,  for  the  enlargement  and  the  improvement  of  the  canal, 
but  it  was  rejected. 

In  1838,  however,  the  legislature,  mindful  of  the  wishes  of  the  people  by 
whom  it  had  been  elected,  passed  a  bill  appropriating  four  millions  of  dollars 
annually  for  the  purpose.  This  gave  ample  means  for  the  desired  improve- 
ment, and  for  this  great  increase  of  the  effectiveness  of  ,the  canal,  by  means  of 
which  boats  can  carry  four  hundred  tons,  whereas  at  the  outset  one  was  thought 
to  be  heavily  laden  if  it  had  forty  tons,  the  state  is  more  indebted  to  Myron 
Holley  than  to  any  one  else.  The  need  of  a  new  and  larger  aqueduct  to  take 
the  place  of  the  old  one  in  this  city  was  more  keenly  felt  than  anything  else, 
and  work  upon  it  was  begun  the  year  before  this  appropriation  bill  was  passed. 
The  structure,  though  not  much  larger  than  the  old  one,  except  as  to  width,  is 
far  more  substantial,  and  of  more  elegant  workmanship.  It  cost  $600,000,  and 
the  material,  which  is  of  gray  limestone,  mostly  from  the  Lockport  quarries,  is 
of  so  durable  a  nature  as  almost  to  defy  the  tooth  of  time.  In  preparing  the 
foundation  for  the  abutments  and  piers,  and  to  give  a  free  passage  for  the  floods 
of  the  river  under  the  new  arches,  30,000  cubic  yards  of  rock  were  blasted  and 
removed  out  of  the  bed  of  the  Genesee  river. 

It  will  not  be  necessary  to  recount  further  the  history  of  the  canal,  to  tell 
of  the  many  good  things  done  for  it,  and  of  the  many  bad  things  done  to  it 
and  by  means  of  it  —  of  how  its  waters  have  flowed 'along,  burdened  with  cor- 
ruption, jobbery  and  peculation,  but  all  the  time  have  borne  upon  their  bosom 
a  freightage  so  rich  as  to  more  than  compensate  for  all  the  treasure  taken 
wrongfully  away  from  it,  or  lost  by  the  neglect  of  those  who  should  have  pre- 
served it  from  the  ravages  of  time,  and  the  encroachments  of  selfish  or  design- 
ing persons.  Of  all  the  manufacturers  along  its  banks,  there  were  few  indeed 
who  did  not  divert  the  water  for  their  own  purposes,  and  those  few  paid  to  the 
state  an  amount  of  money  so  small  as  to  be  not  worth  consideration  in  com- 
parison with  the. loss  to  which  the  canal  was  subjected.  The  quantity  of  water 
thus  taken  is  incalculable,  certainly  flowing  up  into  the  billions  of  gallons  an- 
nually, and,  as  it  was  generally  drawn  off  at  a  time  when  the  dryness  of  the 
season  so  affected  the  water-courses  that  nothing  could  be  gained  from  those 
sources,  the  result  was  that  boats  were  frequently  stranded  and  delayed  for 
days  at  a  time. 

From  the  very  beginning  the  citizens  of  Rochester  took  the  liveliest  inter- 
est in  the  canal,  in  other  ways  than  those  detailed  above.  In  1827  the  regula- 
tions of  the  village  charter  forbade  masters  of  boats  to  suffer  any  horn  or  bugle 
to  be  blown  within  the  village  limits  on  the  Sabbath,  and  a  few  years  later  a 
Sabbath-keeping  line  of  canal-boats  was  started,  which  received  much  en- 
couragement and  aid  from  Aristarchus  Champion,  who,   in  connection  there- 

•       16 


236  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

with,  put  in  operation  the  "Pioneer,"  or  six-day  Hne  of  stages.  Statistics  of 
the  year  1834  show  that  our  citizens  then  owned  stock  in  the  various  trans- 
portation lines  on  the  canal  to  the  amount  of  $74,000  and  that  about  one-sixth 
of  the  tolls  paid  throughout  the  state  were  received  at  this  point.  Rochester 
has  had  but  one  canal  commissioner  since  the  time  of  Myron  Holley  —  John 
D.  Fay,  whose  administration  during  his  first  term  gave  such  satisfaction  that, 
after  being  elected  in  1867,  he  was  chosen  again  in  1870.  To  all  citizens  of 
this  generation  a  sketch  of  the  Erie  canal  would  seem  incomplete  without  a 
mention  of  Henry  L.  Fish,  whose  efforts  to  preserve  and  protect  it  from  harm 
and  wastefulness  have  been  unremitting  and  untiring,  both  in  many  public 
capacities  and  by  frequent  contributions  to.  the  local  press. 

The  following-figures  will  be  of  interest :  The  cost  of  the  first  construction 
was  $7,143,789,  of  the  enlargement  $44,465,414,  making  a  total  of  $51,609,- 
203.  When  it  was  enlarged  the  line  was  straightened  somewhat,  shortening 
the  length  by  twelve  and  a  half  miles,  so  that  it  is  now  three  hundred  and  fifty 
and  a  half  miles  long,  with  seventy-two  locks,  whose  total  lockage  is  nearly  six 
hundred  and  fifty-five  feet.  The  maximum  burden  of  boats  is  two  hundred 
and  forty  tons.  Of  what  was  done  on  the  canal  in  the  way  of  freightage  fifty 
years  ago  the  following  comparative  table  will  convey  some  impression  :  Total 
tolls  for  1833,  $1,290,136.20;  for  1834,  $1,179,744.97;  for  1835,  $1,375,821.- 
26  ;  for  1836,  $1,440,539.87  ;  of  these  the  amount  collected  in  Rochester  was, 
in  1833,  $168,452.37;  in  1834,  $164,247.28;  in  1835,  $176,170.33;  in  1836, 
$190,036.59.  With  a  uniformity  of  progression  almost  unbroken,  the  tolls 
continued  to  increase  for  twentyvfive  years  after  the  opening  of  the  canal,  but 
the  decline  then  began,  and  although  it  was  gradual  at  first  it  eventually  dropped 
to  so  low  a  point  that  the  abolition  of  tolls  and  the  introduction  of  the  free 
canal  system  last  year  kept  but  little  money  from  coming  into  the  state  treas- 
ury, while  the  change  was  generally  beneficial  to  the  boatmen  and  those  in  the 
forwarding  business.  In  1865  the  tolls  received  at  this  point  were  $102,350.- 
85,  in  1870  they  were  $33,018.37,  in  1875  $6,240.92,  in  1880  $11,797.82,  in 
1 88 1  $7,192.27  and  in  1882  $5,070.04.  A  few  words  with  regard  to  the  im-, 
portance  of  keeping  in  operation  the  Erie  canal,  as  a  means  of  transportation 
from  the  west  to  the  Atlantic  sea-board,  will  not  be  out  of  place.  The  state- 
ment has  often  been  made  that  the  expense  of  preserving  the  great  waterway 
was  greater  than  any  income  which  could  be  derived  from  it,  and  that  true 
policy,  therefore,  dictated  its  abandonment.  No  conclusion  could  be  more  fal- 
lacious. The  object  in  the  mind  of  its  creators  was  not  to  put  money  into  the 
treasury  but  to  benefit  the  people,  and  this  it  has  ever  done,  never  more  so 
than  in  those  years  when  the  aggregate  of  tolls  was  rapidly  decreasing,  never 
more  so  than  at  this  present  time,  when  the  canal  is  free  and  the  state  derives 
no  income  at  all  from  the  commerce  between  its  banks.  If  every  boat  were  to 
be  rotting  at  the  dock  and  no  moving  craft  were  henceforth  to  disturb  the 
tranquillity  of  its  .waters,  the  necessity  of  its  retention  would  still  be  paramount, 


The  Genesee  Valley  Canal.  237 

and  our  legislators,  should  turn  a  deaf  ear  to  every  proposition  for  its  close. 
As  long  as  it  is  in  existence  the  farmer  can  get  his  produce  to  the  great  mart 
of  this  hemisphere  at  a  living  rate  of  transportation,  or  sell  it  here  at  a 
price  that  will  enable  him  to  support  his  family  in  comfort  ;  let  the  Erie  canal 
become  a  thing  of  the  past,  competition  dies,  and  the  rates  of  transportation 
are  at  the  merciless  whim  of  railroad  corporations,  which  would  crush  out 
all  incentive  to  agricultural  production  and  paralyse  half  the  industries  of 
our  city. 

While  the  Erie  canal  was  in  process  of  construction,  and  after  its  completion 
as  far  west  as  this  point  had  opened  the  channel  of  communication  between 
Rochester  and  the  state  capital,  the  necessity  of  connecting  the  great  water- 
way with  the  fertile  section  of  country  through  which  the  Genesee  flowed  be- 
came evident  to  the  minds  of  all  who  had  commercial  relations  with  the  farmers 
of  the  happy  valley.  To  more  than  those,  for  Gov.  Clinton,  ever  mindful  of 
the  interests  connected  with  the  great  enterprise  inseparably  associated  with  his 
name,  became  impressed  with  the  idea  at  an  early  day,  and  strongly  advocated 
it  in  a  message  to  the  legislature  in  1824.  Of  course  nothing  was  done  about 
the  matter  at  that  session,  or  at  any  other  till  1828,  when  a  survey  was  ordered, 
which  was  made  under  the  direction  of  Judge  Geddes.  For  some  reason  it 
was  not  satisfactory,  and  the  affair  was  dropped  till  1834,  when  another  act 
was  passed,  authorising  a  re-survey,  which  was  made  under  the  direction  of 
Frederick  C.  Mills,  who  gave  as  the  estimate  of  cost  $1,890,614.12  for  a  canal 
to  extend  from  Rochester  to  Olean,  on  the  Alleghany  river,  a  route  of  one 
hundred  and  seven  miles.  On  the  6th  of  May  a  law  was  passed  for  its  con- 
struction, but  no  contract  was  let  till  1837,  when  two  miles  were  given  out  in 
June,  and  twenty-eight  were  let  in  November.  The  work  progressed  very 
slowly,  so  that  it  was  not  till  1856  that  the  canal  was  finished  and  opened  to 
Olean.  The  business  which  was  expected  to  be  done  by  this  line  was  never  so 
great  as  had  been  anticipated,  owing,  perhaps,  to  the  tardiness  of  its  completion 
and  equally  to  the  decline  of  the  milling  interests  here  and  the  impetus  given 
to  the  manufacture  and  sale  of  western  flour  soon  after  the  canal  went  into 
operation.  The  Rochester  engineers  engaged  upon  the  work  were  Frederick 
C.  Mills,  Henry  S.  Dexter,  J.  B.  Stillson,  Daniel  Marsh,  S.  V.  R.  Patterson, 
George  D.  Stillson,  Burton  W.  Clark  and  Daniel  McHenry.  Many  contractors 
residing  here  have  from  time  to  time  undertaken  to  keep  the  canal  in  repair, 
but  it  has  not  been  either  pleasant  or  profitable  to  them,  the  heavy  freshets  and 
other  causes  combining  to  make  the  labor  greater  than  the  emolument.  Finally, 
after  dragging  along  at  a  loss  to  the  state  and  almost  everybody  connected  with 
it,  the  canal  was  abandoned  by  the  authorities  at  the  close  of  navigation  in 
1878;  offers  were  soon  made  to  purchase  it  and  after  the  consideration  of  all 
propositions  it  was  finally  sold  to  the  Genesee  Valley  Canal  railroad  company, 
the  deed,  signed  by  Alonzo  B.  Cornell  as  governor  of  the  state  of  New  York, 
bearing  date  the  6th  of  November,  1880. 


238  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

CHAPTER  XXX. 

THE  FORCES  OF  NATURE. 

The  Electric  Telegraph  ^  Construction  of  the  O'Rielly  Lines  —  Transformation  into  the  Western 
Union  —  Other  Telegraph  Companies  Here  —  The  Telephone  —  Gas  and  Electric  Light  —  Coal  —  Its 
Introduction  as  Fuel  in  Rochester  —  Insurance  Companies  Here,  Past  and  Present. 

BEFORE  the  perfecting  of  the  Morse  system  in  1844  there  was  little  confi- 
dence felt  that  the  electric  telegraph  would  ever  be  of  any  practical  im- 
portance for  business  purposes ;  in  fact,  it  was  impossible  to  get  capitalists  to 
purchase  stock  in  an  enterprise  so  novel  and  extraordinary  as  the  telegraph 
was  then  considered  to  be.  Now,  when  the  entire  globe  is  encircled  by  tele- 
graphic lines,  which  bring  into  intimate  relations  the  Old  and  New. worlds,  it  is 
curious  to  note  that  forty  years  ago  there  was  but  one  lightning  line  in  opera- 
tion by  which  the  important  news  of  the  day  was  flashed  from  the  Atlantic 
coast  to  the  Alleghany  mountains,  to  the  far-away  Mississippi  valley.  This 
line,  which  ultimately  connected  all  sections  of  the  United  States  within  a  radius 
of  8,000  miles,  was  projected,  organised  and  constructed  by  Henry  O'Rielly, 
of  this  city,  to  whose  earnest  and  untiring  efforts  is  largely  due  the  success  of 
modern  telegraphy.  The  lines  which  he  then  built,  one  after  another,  and 
which  were  in  their  continuity  the  longest  range  of  lines  in  the  world,  were 
styled  by  him  the  "Atlantic,  Lake  and  Mississippi  range,"  but  were  popularly 
known  as  the  "O'Rielly  lines,"  a  name  originally  given  in  derision,  but  gener- 
erally  accepted  in  good  faith.  By  that  term  they  are  alluded  to  in  the  south- 
ern newspapers  of  1846  and  1847.  ^^  the  construction  of  these  lines  Mr. 
O'Rielly  was  pecuniarily  assisted  by  a  few  friends  in  Rochester  arid  elsewhere, 
prominent  among  whom  were  Samuel  L.  Selden  and  Henry  R.  Selden,  both 
of  whom  were  afterward  his  courisel  in  successfully  resisting  the  attempts  of 
the  Morse  patentees  to  violate  the  contract  which  they  had  made  with  him, 
and  to  obtain  an  injunction  against  him.  These  lines  were  afterward  consoli- 
dated, and,  with  the  addition  of  some  others,  formed  the  basis  of  that  gigantic 
monopoly,  the  Western  Union  telegraph  company. 

The  first  office  opened  in  this  city  for  the  transmission  of  messages  was 
that  of  the  New  York,  Albany  &  Buffalo  telegraph  company,  which  began 
business  in  this  city  in  the  winter  of  1844-45.  The  first  press  dispatch 
received  here  was  sent  on  the  1st  of  June,  1846,  and  appeared  in  the  Democrat 
of  the  next  day.  It  came  from  Albany,  and  consisted  of  a  long  and  quite  full 
report  of  the  proceedings  of  the  constitutional  convention  then  sitting  in  that 
city.  The  first  location  of  the  office  here  was  in  the  basement  of  Congress  Hall, 
but  it  was  soon  removed  to  the  Reynolds  arcade  —  first  to  the  north  end  of  the 
west  gaUery,  then  to  number  8  on  the  ground  floor,  and  finally,  toward  the 
close  of  1850,  to  number  1 1,  where  it  remains  at  the  present  writing.  At  this 
time  the  manager  of  the  company  was  George  E.  Allen,  of  Utica,  and  the  first 


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Telegraph  and  Telegraph  Companies.        239 

operator  was  a  young  man  by  the  name  of  Barnes.  Mr.  Allen  remained  in 
charge  of  the  office  until  1852,  when  he  was  succeeded  by  S.  S.  Pellett,  who 
had  formerly  occupied  the  position  of  line  repairer  and  assistant  operator.  Mr. 
Pellett  resigned  in  December,  1852,  and  was  succeeded  by  A.  Cole  Cheney, 
who  remained  until  May,  188 1,  when  A.  J.  Stoddard  became  the  head  of  the 
office.  In  November,  1883,  George  D.  Butler,  who  had  been  connected  with 
the  office  since  1865,  was  appointed  manager,  to  fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  the 
resignation  of  Mr.  Stoddard.  In  i860  the  New  York,  Albany  &  Buffalo  tele- 
graph company  was  consolidated  with  the  Western  Union,  and  some  three 
years  afterward  the  instruments  were  removed  to  quarters  on  the  third  floor, 
over  the  east  gallery,  as  more  room  was  required  to  transact  the  increased 
business  of  the  company.  A  few  years  later  the  Atlantic  &  Pacific,  which  had 
an  office  here  for  about  a  year,  was  absorbed  in  the  omnivorous  company, 
which  a  short  time  afterward  also  swallowed  the  American  Union,  another  of 
our  short-lived  concerns.  In  i88i  the  Western  Union  passed  into  the  control 
of  Jay  Gould.  During  the  past  few  years  the  business  has  grown  to  enormous 
proportions,  having  increased  during  the  last  year  over  thirty-three  per  cent. 

The  American  Rapid  telegraph  company  opened  April  1st,  1 881,  in  the 
Reynolds  arcade.  In  October  last  this  company  was  consolidated  with  the 
Bankers',  Merchants'  &  Southern  telegraph  company.  The  whole  system,  em- 
bracing about  20,000  miles  of  line,  extends  from  New  Orleans  east  and  north 
to  the  New  England  states,  and  westward  to  Denver,  Colorado.  When  the 
company  began  business  six  wires  only  were  in  use;  now  twenty- two  are  in 
constant  operation,  together  with  a  district  system  of  calls,  with  signal  boxes 
throughout  the  city  in  many  of  the  principal  business  houses.  Eugene  J.  Chap- 
man is  manager.  Four  day  and  one  night  operator  are  employed,  besides 
fifteen  messenger  boys. 

The  district  telegraph  is  a  valuable  city  institution.  It  went  into  operation 
on  the  1st  of  August,  1883,  has  now  connection  with  several  hundred  boxes, 
and  employs  forty  or  fifty  boys,  who  may  be  summoned  at  any  moment,  be- 
sides which  signals  may  be  sent  for  a  carriage,  a  physician,  the  police,  or  the 
fire  department.      Its  office  is  in  the  Arcade. 

The  first  office  opened  in  this  city  for  the  transmission  of  oral  messages 
was  that  of  the  Bell  telephone  company,  which  began  business  in  January, 
1879,  in  rooms  on  the  south  side  of  Main  street  bridge.  About  the  same  time 
the  Edison  company  opened  a  similar  office  in  the  tower  of  the  Powers  block, 
which  was  under  the  management  of  George  A.  Redman,  but  it  kept  open  only 
about  a  year,  as  their  rights  were  purchased  by  the  Bell  company,  and  the  two 
lines  consolidated  in  June,  1880.  The  first  officers  of  the  Bell  company  were 
as  follows:  General  manager,  Edward  J.  Hall,  jr.;  secretary  and  treasurer. 
Barlow  C.  Palmer ;  local  manager,  Alfred  Hall ;  general  superintendent,  J.  M. 
Culberson ;  consulting  electrician,  B.  F.  Blackall.     The  officers  for  the  present 


240  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

year  are  as  follows :  Manager,  William  Mallett ;  superintendent,  li.  F.  Black- 
all.     The  office  is  on  Main  street  bridge. 

It  is  impossible  to  determine  with  any  certainty  the  exact  date  of  the  intro- 
duction of  illuminating  gas  into  this  city.  A  few  private  generators  were  in 
use  before  the  organisation  of  the  Rochester  Gas-light  company,  which  came 
into  existence  on  the  24th  of  March,  1848,  and  began  the  manufacture  of  gas 
on  the  13th  of  December  in  the  same  year.  The  first  officers  of  this  company 
were  as  follows:  President,  Lewis  Brooks;  secretary,  Levi  A.  Ward  ;  engineer, 
Henry  Cartwright;  directors  —  F.  F.  Backus,  Joseph  Field,  F.  Whittlesey, 
William  Pitkin,  Lewis  Brooks,  S.  C.  Jones,  Jos|ph  Hall,  L.  A.  Ward  and  D. 
R.  Barton.  The  first  consumer  was  C.  A.  Jones.  The  present  officers  are  : 
President,  Patrick  Barry;  vice-president,  Thomas  C.  Montgomery;  superin- 
tendent, secretary  and  treasurer,  Matt  Cartwright.  The  office  and  works  are 
on  the  north  side  of  Mumford  street,  near  the  river. 

The  Citizens'  Gas  company,  which  supplies  consumers  on  the  east  side  of 
the  river  only,  was  incorporated  in  1872,  with  the  following  officers:  President, 
George  J.  Whitney ;  secretary,  William  H.  Bowman ;  treasurer,  George  K. 
Mumford ;  superintendent,  Matt  Cartwright.  The  works  of  the  company  are 
on  the  flats  below  Vincent  place  bridge,  in  the  northern  part  of  the  city. 
Forty-five  miles  of  pipe  are  in  use.  The  present  officers  are :  President, 
Mortimer  F.  Reynolds ;  vice-president,  George  E.  Mumford  ;  secretary,  treas- 
urer and  superintendent,  William  H.  Ward;  engineer,  James  H.  Walker. 

A  company  for  the  manufacture  of  gas  from  petroleum  was  organised  here, 
about  three  years  ago,  and  came  into  existence  under  the  name  of  the  Munici- 
pal Gas  company.  Most  of  the  directors  have  always  been  non-resident. 
About  twenty-eight  or  thirty  miles  of  pipe  have  been  laid  in  the  city.  The 
office  is  now  on  State  street,  and  the  present  officers  are :  President,  John  P. 
Townsend ;  secretary,  Charles  F.  Pond ;  treasurer,  John  P.  Scholfield ;  super- 
intendent and  engineer,  Frank  P.  Chase. 

The  Brush  Electric  light  company  began  business  in  this  city  in  July,  1881. 
The  officers  of  the  company  for  that  year  were  as  follows :  President,  George 
C.  Buell;  vice-president,  William  L.  Halsey ;  secretary  and  treasurer,  George 
E.  Jennings;  superintendent,  Frank  E.  Gilmore.  At  the  time  of  the  organi- 
,  sation  of  the  company  the  generators  were  located  on  North  water  street,  but 
during  the  past  year  they  w6re  removed  to  the  lower  falls,  where  better  facili- 
ties were  offered  for  obtaining  power,  which  is  now  equal  to  2,700  horse  power. 
There  are  in  use  at  present  475  electric  lamps,  295  of  which  are  used  by  tho 
city  in  lighting  the  streets.  The  company  are  intending  to  introduce  shortly 
the  Swan  incandescent  light.  The  officers  for  the  year  are  :  President,  George 
E.  Mumford ;  secretary  and  treasurer,  A.  Erickson  Perkins ;  superintendent, 
George  A.  Redman. 

Under  the  name  of  the  Rochester  Electric  light  company,  the  Weston  sys- 


The  Use  of  Coal.  241 


tem  was  introduced  here  in  November,  1881,  and  has  now  160  lights  in  use  in 
stores  and  places  of  entertainment  in  the  city.  Its  present  officers  are:  Presi- 
dent, H.  Austin  Brewster ;  vice-president,  L.  P.  Ross ;  secretary  and  treasurer, 
F.  M.  McFarlin ;  general  superintendent,  C.  H.  Babcock.  The  Fuller  light 
and  the  Maxim  incandescent  light  are  used  in  the  Powers  block,  the  generator 
being  in  the  cellar  of  the  building,  and  the  power  being  obtained  from  the  en- 
gines already  stationed  there.  The  Edison  light  is  used  in  the  Eastman  dry 
plate  works  on  State  street. 

The  Use  of  Coal. — With  regard  to  the  use  of  coal  as  fuel,  it  is  difficult  to 
fi.x  a  precise  time  for  its  introduction,  but  the  following  will  tell  the  story  as 
accurately  as  may  be :  In  1847  Jonathan  Child  brought  Lehigh  coal  here  for 
foundry  use.  In  the  course  of  the  next  year  Nathaniel  T.  and  Henry  E. 
Rochester  went  into  partnership  with  Mr.  Child,  and  the.  firm  opened  a  house 
for  the  sale  of  coal  and  iron.  The  coal  was  brought  here  from  Philadelphia, 
by  way  of  Albany,  and  mostly  in  large  lumps,  for  manufacturing  purposes, 
but  the  debris  that  was  left  after  they  were  disposed  of  was  sold  to  house- 
keepers to  be  used  as  fuel  in  stoves.  This  soon  became  so  generally  recognised 
as  adapted  to  that  end  that  the  firm  began  the  practice  of  breaking  the  large 
pieces  into  smaller  ones  of  a  suitable  size  and  selling  then!  for  heating  pur- 
poses, and  in  a  short  time  they  were  known  as  regular  retailers  of  Lehigh  and 
Blossburg  coal.  In  1850  Roswell  Hart  opened  an  office  for  the  sale  of  coal, 
exclusively,  and  was  therefore  the  pioneer  in  the  business,  as  not  connected 
with  any  other  branch  of  trade.  At  the  outset  he  sold  only  bituminous  coal, 
but  before  the  year  was  over  he  brought  up  by  tide-water,  from  Philadelphia, 
some  three  hundred  tons  of  anthracite,  and  toward  the  close  of  185  i  it  began 
to  come  here  by  rail  from  Scranton  and  Pittston.  There  have  been,  in  other 
years,  companies  here  which  were  engaged  in  the  mining  of  coal,  but  the 
only  firm  now  engaged  directly  in  that  is  one  that  is  understood  to  be  con- 
fined to  the  production  of  bituminous  coal.  Having  thus  detailed  the  local 
operations  in  the  material  now  mainly  used  for  making  fire,  let  us  turn  our  in- 
quiries to  the  means  provided  for  insuring  against  losses  by  that  element. 

In  the  matter  of  local  insurance  companies  our  city  has  always  been  behind 
Buffalo,  which  has  had  them  for  many  years  and  now  boasts  of  four.  The 
present  prosperous  company  mentioned  below  is  not,  however,  the  only  one  of 
the  kind  that  ever  existed  here,  though  most  of  the  others  were  abandoned 
within  a  few  years  after  their  incorporation.  The  first  to  be  formed  was  the 
Monroe  fire  insurance  company,  which  was  incorporated  March  9th,  1825,  with 
a  capital  of  $250,000;  it  must  have  expired  almost  immediately,  for  it  was 
"revived"  on  the  17th  of  April,  1826,  and  that  is  the  last  that  is  known  of  it. 
Equally  short  Ijved  was  the  Mutual  Protection  insurance  company,  incorporated 
on  the  7th  of  May,  1844,  but  the  Farmers'  &  Merchants'  insurance  company 
of  Western  New  York  was  a  little  more  tenacious,  for  after  being  incorporated 


242  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

on  the  29th  of  October,  1850,  it  was  changed  to  the  Rochester  insurance  com- 
pany on  the  20th  of  March,  1852,  and  led  a  torpid  existence  for  two  years 
after  that.  In  January,  185 1,  the  Commercial  fire  insurance  company  was 
organised,  with  a  proposed  capital  of  $100,000,  but  it  never  did  any  business, 
and  the  attempts  to  start  two  other  companies,  the  Union  and  the  Flour  City,  were 
equally  fruitless.  One  company,  however,  was  very  successful  and  continued 
for  a  long  term  of  years  —  the  Monroe  County  Mutual,  which  was  organised 
on  the  2 1st  of  March,  1836.  A.  M.  Schermerhorn  was  its  first  president,  Ly- 
man B.  Langworthy  was  its  last,  and  Levi  A.  Ward  was  its  secretary  and 
treasurer  from  the  beginning  to  the  end.  It  took  no  risks  in  the  city,  but  in- 
sured farm  property  exclusively,  in  five-year  policies,  the  total  amount  of  in- 
surance being  nearly  $100,000,000.  Its  affairs  were  managed  with  the  greatest 
economy,  as  its  expenses,  including'  salaries,  never  came  to  $500  a  year,  and 
its  integrity  may  be  known  by  its  freedom  from  litigation,  as  it  never  had  a 
contested  lawsuit.  Its  charter  would  have  expired  in  1876,  but  the  company 
decided  to  close  up  in  February,  1865,  as  some  of  the  great  New  York  com- 
panies had  reduced  the  rates  to  so  low  a  point  as  to  render  the  business  un- 
profitable and  make  competition  impossible.  The  secretary  was  directed  to 
pay  the  small  balance  on  hand  to  the  Female  Charitable  society. 

The  Rochester  German  insurance  company  was  organised  February  22d, 
1872,  entirely  of  Germans,  with  a  capital  of  $100,000,  doing  a  local  business. 
Louis  Bauer  was  the  first  president,  and  Rudolph  Vay  the  first  secretary.  In 
the  early  part  of  1873  the  capital  was  increased  to  $200,000,  so  that  the  com- 
pany could  branch  out  and  do  an  agency  business.  About  this  time  Louis 
Ernst  became  president.  He  resigned  in  1875  and  was  succeeded  by  Frederick 
Cook,  who  still  occupies  the  office.  The  company's  business  now  covers  a  terri- 
tory of  twenty  six  states  and  it  has  over  350  local  agents.  The  company,  from 
a  very  small  business,  has  grown  to  that  extent  that  its  income  exceeds  $500,- 
000,  and  its  gross  assets  are  an  excess  of  $600,000,  of  which  $ioo,OQO  is  in- 
vested in  government  registered  bonds  and  $200,000  in  bond  and  mortgage 
on  real  estate  in  this  city,  besides  which  it  owns  various  state  bonds,  Pullman 
palace  car  stock  and  other  securities.  Its  directors  are :  J.  J.  Bausch,  Louis 
Bauer,  Nicholas  Brayer,  Fred'k  Cook,  John  Dufner,  Sam'l  Dubelbeis,  Louis 
Ernst,  Fred'k  Goetzmann,  Mathias  Kondolf,  John  Lutes,  George  C.  Maurer, 
Jacob  Nunnold,  Chas.  Rau,  William  Vicinus,  Albrecht  Vogt,  John  Weis,  John 
G.  Wagner,  Louis  Wehn,  Casper  Wehle,  Peter  Pitkin.  The  officers  are  :  Presi- 
dent, Frederick  Cook ;  vice-president,  John  Lutes ;  secretary,  H.  F.  Atwood  ; 
counsel,  Eugene  H.  Satterlee. 


The  Presbyterian  Churches.  243 

CHAPTER  XXXI. 

THE  CHURCHES  OF  ROCHESTER. 

Earliest  Organisation  of  Religious  Societies  in  the  Settlement  —  The  Presbyterian  Churches  —  The 
Episcopal  Churches  —  The  Friends,  or  Quakers  —  The  Baptist  Churches  —  The  Methodist  —  The 
Roman  Catholic  —  The  Unitarian —The  German  Lutheran,  Evangelical  and  Reformed  —  The  Congre- 
gational—  The  Jewish  —  The  Universalist — The  Second  Advent  —  Other  Churches. 

IN  the  following  complete  sketch  of  the  Rochester  churches  the  editor  is 
greatly  indebted  to  several  reverend  gentlemen  for  the  labor  tliat  they  have 
bestowed  upon  the  various  portions  of  the  chapter,  and  for  the  research  with 
which  they  have  compiled  their  different  articles  from  sources  of  information 
that  extended  over  a  wide  field  of  reading  and  investigation.  The  article  on 
the  Presbyterian  churches  was  prepared  by  Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward,  D.  D.,  of 
Geneseo ;  that  on  the  Episcopal  churches  was  mainly  compiled  from  a  manual 
prepared  last  year  by  Rev.  Henry  Anstice,  D.  D. ;  that  on  the  Baptist  churches 
was  in  great  part  furnished  by  Rev.  C.  J.  Baldwin,  D.  D. ;  that  on  the  Metho- 
dist churches  was  prepared  by  Rev.  K.  P.  Jervis,  of  Victor  ;  that  on  the  Cath- 
olic churches  mainly  by  Rev.  D.  Laurenzis,  under  the  supervision  of  Rt.  Rev. 
Bishop  McQuaid,  D.  D. ;  on  the  Lutheran  churches  by  Rev.  Alexander  Rich- 
ter,  on  the  German  Evangelical  by  Rev.  Charles  Siebenpfeiffer,  on  the  Jewish 
churches  by  Rev.  Max  Landsberg,  D.  D.  ;  in  the  other  cases  the  sketches  have 
been  generally  obtained  from  the  pastors  of  the  different  congregations.  The 
arrangemerit  of  the  various  denominations  is  in  accordance  with  the  order  of 
their  foundation  of  a  distinct  society  in  this  place — except  where  the  original 
society  has  become  extinct. 

THE   PRESBYTERIAN   CHURCHES. 

The  First  is  the  oldest  religious  society  of  Rochester,  dating  back  to 
August  22d,  181 5,  the  entire  population  of  the  place  being  at  that  time  but 
331.  The  organisation  was  effected  by  a  commission  appointed  by  the  pres- 
bytery of  Geneva,  consisting  of  ministers  Daniel  Tuller  and  Reuben  Parmelee, 
with  elders  Samuel  Stone  and  Isaac  B.  Barnum.  The  membership  was  six- 
teen. The  elders  chosen  were  Oliver  Gibbs,  Daniel  West,  Warren  Brown 
and  Henry  Donnelly,  with  Elisha  Ely  as  clerk.  The  first  place  of  worship  was 
a  plain  wooden  building  on  State  (then  Carroll)  street,  where  is  now  the  Amer- 
ican express  office.  The  year  1824  saw  completed  the  new  stone  edifice  on 
the  ground  where  now  stands  the  city  hall.  The  proceeds  from  the  sale  of  this 
property  to  the  city  were  put  into  the  commanding  and  commodious  sanctuary 
which  graces  the  corner  of  Plymouth  avenue  and  Spring  street. 

The  pastors  are  as  follows :  Rev.  Comfort  Williams  was  installed  January 
17th,  1816,  and  resigned  June  6th,  1821.  Comfort  street,  on  the  east  side  of 
the  river,  perpetuates  his  name  and  place  of  abode. Rev.  Joseph  Penney, 


244  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

D.  D.,  a  native  of  Ireland  and  graduate  of  Dublin  university,  came  to  America 
in  1819,  accompanied  by  that  eminent  instructor  Rev.  John  Mulligan,  LL.  D. 
He  was  installed  pastor  April  3d,  1822,  and  resigned  April  i6th,  1833.  After 
two  years  as  pastor  of  a  Congregational  church  in  Northampton,  Massachusetts, 
he  was  elevated  to  the  presidency  of  Hamilton  college,  which  position  he  held 
during  four  years  and  finally  returned  to  Rochester,  where  after  a  long  and 
lingering  illness  he  died,  March  22d,  i860,  and  is  entombed  with  his  wife  and 
several  children  in  Mt  Hope.  Possessed  of  masculine  intellect,  large  scholar- 
ship, commanding  presence,  a  warm  heart  and  exceptional  ability  of  utterance. 
Dr.  Penney  has  left  an  ineffaceable  impression  in  this  city  and  region.  His  por- 
trait, painted  by  the  skillful  artist  Gilbert,  at  public  expense,  long  adorned  the 
walls  of  the  Athenaeum,  of  which  institution,  under  the  name   of  the  Franklin 

institute,  he  was  a  leading  patron. Rev.  Tryon  Edwards,  D.  D.,  a  native  of 

Hartford,  Connecticut,  graduate  of  Yale  and  Princeton,  was  pastor  between  July 

1834,  and  July  26th,    1844;    pastor  at  Gouverneur,  N.  Y. Rev.    Malcolm 

N.  McLaren,  D.  D.,  native  of  Albany,  graduate  of  Union  college  and  Princeton 
seminary,  held  the  pastorate  from  1845-47,  and  then  accepted  a  call  to  Brook- 
lyn, N.  Y.  His  last  days  are  passing  in  Auburn,  N.  Y. Rev.  Joshua  Haw- 
ley  Mcllvaine,  D.  D.,  native  of  Lewis,  N.  Y.,  graduate  at  Princeton  college  and 
seminary,  occupied  the  pulpit  from  1848  to  i860.  After  several  years  as  profes- 
sor in  his  alma  mater  he  accepted  a  call  to  Newark,  N.  J.,  where  he  now  re- 
sides.    He  is  author  of  a  late  volume,  entitled  Wisdom  of  Holy  Scriptures. 

Rev.  Calvin  Pease,  D.  D.,  native  of  Canaan,  Connecticut,  graduate  of  the  Uni- 
versity of  Vermont,  of  which  institution  he  was  for  several  years  president,  was 
installed  as  pastor  of  the  First  in  1861  and  closed  his  life  when  on  a  visit  to 
Burlington,  1863.  A  committee  of  the  church,  comprising  the  late  Judge  Gar- 
diner and  others,   was,  by  appointment  at  the  funeral.      His  residence  in  the 

city  was  brief  and  his  death  a  great  affliction  to  the  entire   community. 

Rev.  Casper  Maurice  Wines,  native  of  Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania,  graduate  of 
Washington   college,  Pennsylvania,   and  Princeton  seminary,   was   pa.stor  from 

1866  to  1868  and  is  now   an   Episcopal   rector  in  Cleveland,    Ohio. Rev. 

J.  Lovejoy  Robertson,  native  of  Steubenville,  Ohio,  and  graduate  of  Northwood 
college,  Ohio;  commenced  his  pastorate  December  7th,  1 870,  which  he  contin- 
ued to  1877.     He  is  now  pastor  at  Cortland,  N.  Y. Rev.  Charles  Edward 

Robinson,  D.  D.,  native  of  Ludlowville,  N.  Y.,  .graduate  of  Hamilton  and  of 
Auburn,  was  installed  pastor  in  1878.  He  has  seen  very  many  happy  results 
from  his  labors  in  and  out  of  the  pulpit.^ 

The  officers  for  1 884  are  :  Pastor,  Charles  E.  Robinson,  D.  D. ;  elders  —  Seth 
H.  Terry,  George  C.  Buell,  Charles  J.  Hayden,  Charles  H.  Webb,  A.  G.  Bas- 

1  During  the  interim  of  pastors,  the  pulpit  has  been  supplied  by  Professors  Gmclit  and  Robinson, 
former  missionaries  Dr.  Beadle,  of  Syria  ;  Dr.  Ward,  of  India;  Dr.  Lindley,  of  Africa;  Rev.  Mr. 
Rankin,  of  China,  and  others. 


The  Presuyterian  Churches.  245 

sett,  Newell  A.  Stone,  David  M.  Hough  and  Henry  Goold.  Sabbath- school 
superintendent,  David  M.  Hough. 

The  Second,  or  "Brick."  —  During  ten  years  the  Presbyterians  of  Roch- 
ester remained  in  one  body  and  worshiped  in  the  same  sanctuary.  The 
population  had  advanced  from  331  to  about  5,000.  After  repeated  and  earnest 
consultation  it  was  determined  to  organise  another  society  to  meet  the  wants 
of  the  rapidly  advancing  population.  Thus  came  into  being  the  Second 
Presbyterian  church  of  Rochester,  in  November,  1825,  having,  as  the  first 
trustees,  Timothy  Burr,  Ashbel  W.  Riley,  Lyman  Granger,  Richard  Gors- 
line  and  Henry  Kennedy.  The  place  of  worship  was  the  wooden  building  on 
State  street,  vacated  by  the  First,  when  they  (the  First)  took  possession  of  their 
new  edifice.  Here  were  services  held  till  the  completion  of  their  brick  edifice 
on  the  corner  of  Fitzhugh  and  Ann  streets,  in  the  year  1828.  Many  revivals 
of  religion  occurred  during  the  occupancy  of  that  building.  It  was  a  Zion,  of 
which  it  could  be  said  of  many  hundreds  "this  and  that  man  was  born  in  her; 
and  the  Highest  himself  did  exalt  her."  In  the  year  1859  measures  were  taken 
to  erect  an  edifice,  larger,  .safer,  more  commodious  and  more  answerable  to 
pressing  demands  than  this  of  more  than  thirty  years'  age.  Louis  Chapin, 
Charles  J.  Hayden  and  William  Otis  were  the  building  committee,  and  A.  J. 
Warner  was  the  architect.  The  corner-stone  of  the  new  building  was  laid  July 
3d,  i860,  with  an  address  by  Byron  Sunderland,  D.  D.,  of  Washington,  D.  C. 
The  dedication  was  June  30th,  1861,  the  sermon  being  preached  by  Samuel  W. 
Fisher,  D.  D.,  president  of  Hamilton  college.  The  name  "Brick  church"  was 
given  in  1833.  Its  membership  at  the  commencement  was  twenty-five,  most 
.  of  them  bringing  letters  from  the  First.  The  first  elders  were  Timothy  L.  Bacon, 
Silas  Hawley  and  Linus  Stevens. 

The  pastors  have  been  as  follows  :  Rev.  William  James,  D.  D.,  native  of 
Albany  and  graduate  of  Princeton  college  and  seminary,  was  installed  July  24th, 
1826,  sermon  by  Rev.  Chaunccy  Cook,  and  resigned  October  14th,  1830;  a 
man  of  singular  pulpit  power  and  piety  of  heart,  the  latter  causing  his  exultant 
exclamation  on  his  dying  bed  (February  i8th,  1868)  "It  is  all  joy,  joy."     His' 

religious  character  is  resplendent  in  his  published  volume  Grace  for  Grace. 

Rev.  William  Wisner,  D..D.,  native  of  Warwick,  N.  Y. ;  left  the  practice  of  law 
and  after  a  course  of  theological  training  became  pastor  of  the  Presbyterian 
church  at  Ithaca,  N.  Y.  Leaving  that  field,  where  his  labors  had  been  emi- 
nently successful,  to  succeed  Dr.  James  as  pastor  of  the  Brick,  he  was  installed 
July  28th,  183 1,  and  dismissed  September  22d,  1835.  During  his  ministry  of 
four  and  a  half  years  there  were  added  to  the  church  202  by  letter  and  ,372  on 
profession  of  faith.  Dr.  Wisner  was  moderator  of  the  "general  assembly"  in 
1840  and  died  at  Cedar  Rapids,  Iowa,  January  7th,  1871. — —Rev.  George 
Beecher,  son  of  Lyman  Beecher,  D.  D.,  was  installed  June  i8th,  1838,  remained 
two  years,  removed  to  Chilicothe,  Ohio,  where  he  accidentally  shot  himself  July 


246  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

1st,  1843.     His  memoirs  was  written  by  his  sister  Catherine. Rev.  James 

Boyian  Shaw,  D.  D.,  native  of  New  York  city,  was  one  of  the  first  children  upon 
whom  the  late  Rev.  Dr.  Spring  laid  his  hand  in  baptism.  After  a  brief  period 
at  Attica  and  Dunkirk  he  accepted  a  unanimous  call  to  the  Brick  church  and 
was  installed  pastor  February  i6th,  1841,  increasing  during  these  forty-three 
years  in  the  love  of  his  attached  people  and  esteem  of  the  entire  community. 
He  was  moderator  of  the  general  assembly  in  1865  and  represented  the  Pres- 
byterian church  in  the  established  church  of  Scotland  in  1873. 

The  officers  for  1884  are:  —  Pastor,  James  Boyian  Shaw,  D.  D. ;  elders  — 
David  Dickey,  Harvey  C.  Fenn,  Louis  Chapin,  Jesse  W.  Hatch,  Truman  A. 
Newton,  Joel  G.  Davis,  Edward  Webster,  George  N.  Storms,  Lansing  G.  Wet- 
more,  Ch.  F.  Weaver. 

The  Third. — When  it  was  purposed  to  organise  a  second  Presbyterian 
church  the  enterprise  encountered  two  serious  obstacles.  The  membership  of 
the  First  was  small  and  there  was  a  natural  reluctance  to  part  with  even  a 
score  of  their  number,  but,  the  organisation  being  determined  upon,  then  came 
the  question  of  locality.  Residents  upon  the  east  side  of  the  river,  then  called 
Brighton,  presented  many  and  strong  arguments  in  favor  of  their  part  of  the 
village.  Being  outvoted  they  at  once  determined  upon  an  organisation  nearer 
their  own  homes.  In  December,  1826,  a  religious  society  was  incorporated 
which  ultimately  took  the  title  of  the  "Third  Presbyterian  church  of  Roch- 
ester." The  first  services  were  held  in  a  school-house  on  the  corner  of 
Mortimer  and  Clinton  streets.  This  becoming  too  strait  for  the  increasing 
congregation,  a  building  was  erected  on  the  same  street,  size  twenty-four  by 
sixty,  the  timber  standing  in  the  native  forest  on  Monday  morning  and  services 
held  on  the  next  Lord's  day.  As  if  to  add  to  its  celebrity,  within  its  walls 
originated  a  movement,  which  was  afterward  adopted  by  the  American  Bible 
society,  of  supplying  everybody  in  the  United  States,  with  a  copy  of  the  Word 
of  God ;  also  that  honest-hearted  but  abortive  effort  to  prevent  by  law  of  Con- 
gress the  transportation  of  the  mails  and  to  close  all  post-offices  on  the  Sabbath 
day,  coupled  with  the  e.stablishment  of  a  Sabbath-keeping  line  of  boats  on  the 
canal  and  a  "pioneer  line"  of  coaches  on  the  road.  These  all  had  their  origin 
in  the  heart  of  that  stalwart  Christian,  Josiah  Bissell,  jr.,  with  the  open  purse  of 
that  prince  in  the  realms  of  money  liberality,  the  late  Aristarchus  Champion. 
On  the  28th  of  February,  1 827,  a  formal  organisation  was  perfected  by  the  en- 
rollment of  nineteen  persons  with  letters  from  the  First  and  Second  churches  on 
the  west  side  of  the  river.  The  temporary  but  honored  place  of  worship  ere 
long  gave  place  to  one  more  commodious  and  substantial  on  the  corner  of  North 
Clinton  street,  which  from  pecuniary  necessity  in  1834  was  turned  over  to  the 
Second  Baptists,  and  an  edifice  was  erected  in  1837  on  the  south  side  of  Main 
street,  which  was  consumed  by  fire  in  the  autumn  of  1858.  Then  came  the 
erection  of  that  imposing  structure  on   the   corner  of  Lancaster  and  Temple 


J'',y-'/i  .f'/7'/^,/A,v;v;,  //,«.';.,./ 


The  Presbyterian  Churches.  247 

streets,  at  an  expense  of  $38,000,  which  has  been  lately  sold  to  the  Unitarians 
and  land  purchased  on  the  corner  of  East  avenue  and  Meigs,  where  will  soon 
be  the  fifth  place  of  worship  on  different  sites.  From  small  beginnings  we  see 
now  one  of  the  largest  and  most  influential  Presbyterian  churches  in  Western 
New  York. 

The  pastors  and  ministers  have  been  as  follows:  —  Rev.  Joel  Parker,  D.  D., 
native  of  Bethel,  Vermont,  graduate  of  Hamilton  college  and  Auburn  seminary, 
was  the  first  installed  pastor.  His  salary  was  "half  of  brother  Josiah  Bissell's 
biscuit,  as  long  as  he  had  one,"  or,  more  financially  expressed,  $150  for  the  first 
six  months  and  $800  per  annum  afterward.  After  three  years'  faithful  and  suc- 
cessful service  Dr.  Parker  removed  to  New  York,  thence  to  New  Orleans,  to 
I'hiiadclphia,  again  to  New  York,  and  finally  to  Newark,  N.  J.,  where  lie  closed 

a  life  of  eminent  ability  and  usefulness. Rev.  Luke  Lyons  took  charge  in 

1 83 1,  but  soon  left  to  aid  in  establishing  a  new  organisation  on  Court  street, 

long  ago  extinct ;  he  died  in  Illinois. Rev.  William  C.  Wisner,  p.  D.,  native 

of  Elmira,  N.  Y.,  graduate  of  Union  college,  studied  theology  under  his  father, 
Rev.  William  Wisner,  D.  D.,  of  Ithaca.  After  two  years  of  able  service  he 
assumed  the  pastorate  of  the  First  church  of  Lockport,  which  he  held  for  many 
years  with  results  that  give  him  a  place  of  honor  accorded  to  few.      Like  his 

father,  he  was  moderator  of  the  general  assembly  in    1855. Rev.  William 

Mack,  D.  D.,  graduate  of  Princeton  seminary,  served  the  church  for  three  years 

in    1835—37;   went  to  Columbus,  Tennessee,  where  he  died. Rev.  Albert 

Gallatin  Hall,  D.  D.,  native  of  Whitehall,  N.  Y.,  was  himself  a  member  of  the 
Third  church,  over  which  he  was  destined  to  preside  as  pastor  from  February, 
1840,  to  his  death  in  1871.     Besides  being  a  power  for  good  in  the  city,  he  was 

a  representative  man  in  the  entire  Presbyterian  body. Rev.  George  Patton, 

graduated  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania  and  Newburg  theological  seminary, 
and  after  fifteen  years'  ministration  at  Seneca,  N.Y.,  was  installed  pastor  of  the 
Third  in  the  autumn  of  1872. 

The  officers  for  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  George  Patton,  D.  D. ;  elders — Thomas 
15.  Hu.sband,  John  Voorhes,  Joseph  Harris,  William  F.  Cogswell,  Edward  F. 
Harris,  David  Copeland  and  Charles  Pomeroy.  Sunday-school  superintendent, 
S.  D.  Bentley. 

The  Central.  —  In  March,  1836,  a  colony  left  the  First  church,  and  formed 
a  new  organisation  having  these  as  its  characteristic  features :  First,  a  mis- 
sionary church,  established  upon  principles  of  high  Christian  consecration 
and  devotedness ;  second,  free,  and  embracing  a  Bethel  interest ;  third,  open 
for  discussion  on  all  subjects  of  morals,  etc.,  such  as  temperance,  slavery  and 
the  like;'  fourth,  its  secular  as  well  as  religious  affairs  to  be  in  the  hands  of  the 
church  exclusively.  In  August,  1836,  thirty-nine  members  of  the  First  church 
were  organised  by  the  presbytery  of  Rochester  under  the  corporate  name  of 
the  "  Bethel  Presbyterian  church  of  Rochester; "  In  1 841  the  name  was  changed 


248  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

to  the  "Washington  street  church,"  and  in  the  spring  of  1858  to  the  "Cen- 
tral Presbyterian  church,"  which  it  now  bears.  The  first  edifice  was  on  Wash- 
ington street  adjoining  the  canal,  and  the  present  is  on  North  Sophia  street. 
The  preaching  of  the  Rev.  Charles  G.  Finney,  in  1842,  led  to  the  conversion 
of  three  hundred  and  fifty  persons,  who  distributed  themselves  among  eight 
city  churches.  During  the  year  1844  ten  heads  of  families,  with  noble  gener- 
osity, left  the  Brick  church  for  this.  The  absence  of  a  pastor  between  1842 
and  1845  had  reduced  the  membership  to  less  than  two  hundred. 

The  pastors  and  ministers  have  been  as  follows :  Rev.  George  Smith  Board- 
man,  D.D.,  native  of  Albany,  N.  Y.,  and  gradu*ate  of  Union  college  and  of 
Princeton  seminary,  first  pastor  in  1837,  continuing  to  1842,  when  he  wont  to 
Cherry  Valley  and  to  Cazenovia,  supplying  various  churches  to  the  end  of  his 
useful  life. Rev.  Milo  Judson  Hickok,  D.D.,  native  of  New  Haven,  Ver- 
mont, graduate  of  Middlebury  college  and  of  Union  seminary,  came  to  Roch- 
ester in  1845,  labored  with  great  ability  in  the  service  of  the  Washington  street 
church;  went  to  Scranton,  Penn.,  where  he  was  pastor  fourteen  years  and  be- 
ing disabled   by  paralysis  closed  his  days  at   Marietta,    Ohio.     A   master  in 

thought,  erudition  and   earnestness. Rev.   P'rank  Field  EUinwood,  D.D., 

native  of  Clinton,  N.  Y.,  graduate  of  Hamilton  college  and  of  Auburn  and 
Princeton  seminaries,  was  installed  pastor  of  the  Central  in  November,  1854, 
remaining  to  1865,  when  ill  health  drove  him  from  the  flock.      He  is  one  of  the 

secretaries  of  the   board  of  foreign  missions. Rev.  Samuel  M.  Campbell, 

D.D.,  native  of  Campbelltown,  N.  Y.,  and  graduate  of  Auburn  seminary  ;  came 
to  the  city  and  was   installed   pastor,  March   ist,  1866,  remaining  fifteen  years, 

when  he  removed  to  Minneapolis. Rev.  Theodore  W.   Hopkins,  native  of 

Cincinnati,  Ohio  ;  graduate  of  Yale  college  and  Rochester  theological  seminary  ; 
pastor  elect,  but  not  installed. 

The  oflScers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  Theodore  W.  Hopkins;  elders  — 
William  A.  Hubbard,  Heman  Glass,  Lewis  H.  Ailing,  Charles  Forbes,  William 
Ailing  (clerk),  Henry  Churchill,  John  N.  Harder,  David  Cory,  l-'rank  M.  ICl- 
lery,  Alonzo  L.  Mabbett,  George  W.  Sill  and  Darius  L.  Covill.  Sunday-school 
superintendents,  Thomas  Dransfield  and  Mrs.  D.  L.  Covill. 

Calvary.  —  Early  in  the  year  1847  '^^v-  Richard  De  l^^orest  purchased  a 
lot  in  the  southeast  part  of  the  city,  on  which  he  erected  a  small  building, 
containing  one  room.  He  then  went  through  the  neighborhood,  giving  in- 
formation that  a  Sabbath-school  would  be  commenced  on  the  next  Lord's 
day,  followed  by  preaching  in  the  afternoon.  Forty  scholars  were  present  at 
the  former  and  a  crowd  at  the  latter.  This  prepared  the  way  for  a  formal  ec- 
clesiastical organisation  under  the  name  of  "St.  Paul  street  Congregational 
church."  Soon  after  a  church  edifice  was  erected  on  the  corner  of  South 
avenue  and. Jefferson  street  and  dedicated  to  divine  worship  November  3d,  1850, 
the  sermon  being  preached  by  President  Mahan,  of  Oberlin,  Ohio.      Pecuniary 


The  Presbyterian  Churches.  249 

adversities  compelling  a  sale  of  the  property,  it  was  purchased  by  L.  A.  Ward 
with  a  view  to  its  becoming  Presbyterian,  which  it  has  since  been.  On  the  ish 
of  June,  1856,  it  came  into  connection  with  the  presbytery  of  Rochester,  with 
the  corporate  title  of  "Calvary  Presbyterian  church  of  Rochester."  Enlarge- 
ments and  improvements  have  taken  place  at  different  times,  till  it  is  now  one 
of  the  most  commodious  in  the  region  of  this  locality. 

The  pastors  and  ministers  have  been  as  follows :  Rev.  Richard  De  Forest, 
native  of  New  York  city  and  graduate  of  Auburn  theological  seminary,  was  the 
founder  of  this  church,  and  pastor  while  Congregational  in  polity.  Energetic; 
earnest  and   useful,   his   name   will   be  ever  held  in  grateful  memory.      He  is 

buried  in  Mount  Hope. Rev.    Charles  Ray,   a  native   of  Calcutta,   India, 

where  his  parents  (Rev.  Edward  and  Sarah  Ray)  were  missionaries.  He  grad- 
uated at  Union  college  and  Princeton  seminary  and  was  installed  as  the  first 
Presbyterian  pastor,  .in  July,  1856,  and  after  two  years  resigned  and  has 
employed  his  learning  and  labor  in  various  departments  and  places  to  the  pres- 
ent time. Rev.  Bellville  Roberts  spent  four  years  of  earnest  effort   in   the 

pastorate  of  this  church,  witnessing  many  happy  results  from  his  faithful  minis- 
tration.  Rev.  Alfred  Yeomans,  D.  D.,  native  of  North   Adams,  Mass.,  son 

of  Rev.  Dr.  John  Yeomans,  moderator  of  the  general  assembly  in  i860,  grad- 
uated at  Princeton  college  and  seminary.  His  pastorate  covered  but  one  year, 
when  continued  ill-health  compelled  his  resignation.  He  is  now  pastor  of  a 
church  at  Orange,- N.  J.,  as  successor  of  his  brother,  the  late  E.   D.   Yeomans, 

formerly  of  St.  Peter's,  Rochester. Rev.  Herbert  W.  Morris,  D.  D.,  a  native 

of  Wales,  look  the  pastoral  charge  of  Calvary  in  1867,  giving  to  the  people  of 
his  charge  the  results  of  intense  study  and  the  accumulations  of  research,  much 
of  which  is  made  permanent  in  volumes  that  have  few  equals  in  Christendom. 

Dr.  Morris  resides  in  Rochester. Rev.   Edward  Bristol,   native  of  Buffalo, 

N.  Y.,  converted  at  fifteen,  engaged  at  once  in  evangelistic  work  in  the  Lafay- 
ette street  church,  of  which  the  late  Rev.  Grosvcnor  W.  Heacock,  D.  D.,  was 
the  devoted  and  lifelong  pastor ;  after  twenty-five  years  in  the  city  missions  and 
alms  house,  he  entered  upon  the  work  of  a  general  evangelist  and  finally  became 
pastor  of  Calvary  in  1878. 

The  officers  in  1 884  are  :  Pastor,  Rev.  Edward  Bristol ;  elders  —  F.  S.  Steb- 
bins,  J.  B.  Reeves,  Judson  Knickerbocker,  Thomas  Oliver,  Frank  T.  Skinner. 
Superintendent  of  Sabbath-school,  F.  T.  Skinner. 

St.  J'etcr's. —  In  May,  1852,  Levi  A.  Ward,  a  member  of  the  First  church, 
commenced  the  construction  of  a  new  church  edifice  upon  a  lot  of  land  owned 
by  him  on  Grove  street,  opposite  his  own  residence.  Grove  place.  His  desire 
was  to  meet  the  public  demand  in  that  locality  and  to  establish  an  order  of 
worship  in  which  the  entire  congregation  shall  more  largely  unite  than  is 
customary  in  the  denomination.  An  edifice  was  erected  at  an  expense  of 
$35,000  and   dedicated    October  25th,    1853,  sermon  by  Rev.  Dr.  Mcllvaine, 


2SO  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

pastor  of  the  First,  assisted  by  Rev.  Dr.  Mall  of  the  Third  and  Rev.  Dr. 
F.  De  Wilton  Ward,  of  Geneseo,  brother  of  the  founder.  On  the  13th  of 
December,  1853,  a  special  meeting  of  the  presbytery  of  Rochester  (O.  S.)  was 
held,  when  twenty-eight  persons,  members  of  different  churches  in  the  city, 
presented  certificates  and  were  constituted  "St.  Peter's  church  of  the  city  of 
Rochester."  Its  special  features  are  a  form  of  worship  but  no  liturgy  —  no. 
printed  prayer  except  that  left  by  Christ  himself  Gown  and  bands  arc  used 
by  the  clergymen,  as  is  customary  in  all  the  churches  in  Scotland  and  many 
older  ones  in  America.  The  deed  of  the  church  property  was  executed  and 
delivered  to  the  trustees  by  the  founder,  March  27th,  1867.  The  first  edifice 
was  destroyed  by  fire,  March  i8th,  1868,  but  was  immediately  rebuilt  at  an 
expense  of  about  $50,000. 

The  pastors  and  ministers  have  been  as  follows  :  Rev.  Richard  H.  Richard- 
son, D.  D.,  native  of  Lexington,  Kentucky,  graduate  of  Princeton  college  and 
seminary,  held  the  pastorate  for  one  and  a  half  years  and  holds  a  similar  posi- 
tion in  Trenton,  N.   J. Rev.  Joseph  H.  Towne,  D.  D.,  presided  over   this 

church  two  years. Rev.   John  Townsend   Coit,  D.  D.,   native  of  Buffalo 

and  graduate  of  Yale  and  Andover,  commenced  his  pastorate  of  St.  Peter's, 
June  1st,  i860.  Three  years  passed  profitably  away,  when,  upon  a  visit  to  his 
former  parishioners  at  Albion,  he  was  called  suddenly  to  the  heavenly  world. 
A  tablet  to  his  memory  has  been   placed  upon   the  right  of  the  pulpit,  with  a 

fitting  inscription. Rev;  Edward  Dorr  Yeomans,  D.  D.,  son  of  the  late  Dr. 

Yeomans,  moderator  of  the  general  assembly  in  Rochester,  was  a  native  of 
North  Adams,  Mass.,  graduated  at  Princeton  seminary,  preeminent  in  varied 
scholarship.  His  pastorate  of  St.  Peter's  began  in  May,  1863,  when  he  removed 
to  Orange,  N.  J.,  and  died  of  apoplexy,  August  27th,  1868.  A  beautiful  tab- 
let in  bronze  is  within  the  church.  —  Rev.  James  M.  Crowell,  D.  D.,  a  native 
of  Philadelphia,  and  graduate  of  Princeton  college  and  seminary,  was  pastor 
from  May  5th,  1869,  to  December,  1870.  He  is  now  secretary  of  the  Ameri- 
can Sunday  school  union  in   his  native  city. Rev.  Herman  Camp  Riggs, 

D.  D.,  native  of  Groton,  N.  Y.,  graduated  at  Union,  and  Union  theological 
seminary.  Came  to  Rochester  from  Rutherford  Park,  N.  J.  ;  was  installed 
over  St.  Peter's  June  8th,  1878. 

The  officers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  Herman  Camp  Riggs,  D.  D. ;  ciders 
—  M.  K.  Woodbury,  J.  E.  Pierpont,  E.  F.  Hoyt,  E.  E.  Sill,  T.  W.  Crissey, 
R.  E.  White,  H;  W.  Brown,  S.  A.  Merriman  ;  deacons  —  M.  K.  Woodbury  and 
Hf  W.  Brown.     Sunday-school  superintendents,  S.  A.  Merriman  and  J.  Morgan. 

Westminster. — This  first  Protestant  church  west  of  the  Erie  and  Valley 
canals  sprang  from  the  union  of  two  Sunday-schools,  one  started  by  the 
Brick  church  and  the  other  by  the  Central.  These  had  been  under  the 
superintendency  of  John  H.  Thompson,  William  S.  Bishop  and  Henry  Churchill. 
From   May,    1861,   to    May,    1862,   Rev   Anson  Gleason,   long  a   missionary 


The  Presbyterian  Churches.  251 

among  the  Mohican  Indians,  labored  with  characteristic  zeal  in  this  field. 
Mrs.  L.  A.  Shepherd  was  a  local  missionary  of  the  young  people's  society 
of  the  Central  in  the  same  locality.  After  considerable  time  and  much  effort 
funds  were  obtained  to  erect  a  building  for  worship,  which  was  dedicated  Jan- 
uary 26th,  1871.  The  sermon  was  preached  by  Rev.  Dr.  Campbell,  of  the 
Central,  which  had  generously  dismissed  eighty-two  persons  to  this  new  body. 
In  common  with  many  church  edifices  of  the  city,  this  received  substantial  and 
timely  pecuniary  aid  from  the  late  Aristarchus  Champion,  who  resided  in  that 
vicinity. 

The  pastors  have  been  as  follows :  Rev.  Henry  Morey,  graduate  of  Union 
college  and   Princeton  seminary,  was   installed  April  27th,  1871,  and   resigned 

in  October,  1874;   now  an  evangelist. Rev.  Corlis  B.  Gardner,  graduated 

at    Rochester,   and  at  Auburn  seminary,  was   installed   February  4th,    1875. 

The  officers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Corlis  B.  Gardner;  elders  —  B.  H.  Hill, 
J.  B.  Whitbeck,  H.  K.  Van  Tyne,  E.  M.  Doane,  W.  F.  Parry,  W.  J.  C.  Hansen. 

Memorial.  —  The  name  of  this  church  suggests  the  time  and  manner  of 
its  coming  into  being.  The  funds  contributed  by  the  Brick  church  during  the 
memorial  years  of  1869—70  were  devoted  to  a  new  organisation  on  Hudson 
and  Wilson  streets,  in  the  eastern,  as  Calvary  was  in  the  southern,  and  West- 
minster in  the  western  limits  of  the  city.  A  church  chapel  was  built  in  1870. 
A  church  organisation  was  effected  on  January  17th,  1872,  by  a  commission 
of  presbytery,  fifty-four  persons  enrolling  their  names  as  members,  thirty- 
seven  by  letter  and  seventeen  upon  confession  of  their  faith.  To  meet  the 
wants  of  the  growing  congregation,  the  original  brick  chapel  was  enlarged 
into  the  present  commodious  Gothic  structure  and  dedicated,  free  from  debt, 
August  1 8th,  1 88 1.  The  entire  expense  of  lot  and  structure  was  about  $20,000. 
The  average  attendance  is  350,  with  a  constant  increase. 

The  pastors  have  been  as  follows :   Rev.  Gavin  L.  Hamilton,  installed  in 

1870,  and  continued  his  labors  to  the  last  Sabbath  in   1874. Rev.  Charles 

Pierrepont  Coit,  native  of  Hastings,  N.  Y.,  graduated  at  Rochester  university 
and  Auburn  seminary,  organised  and  built  up  a  church  in  Binghamton,  N.  Y. ; 
installed  as  pastor  of  the  Memorial  church  January  2d,  1875. 

The  officers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  Charles  P.  Coit;  elders  —  Edward 
W.  Warner,  George  H.  Rudman,  Aaron  P.  Lawrence,  David  C.  Rudman, 
Stephen  W.  Millichamp  and  Wilson  F.  Smith.  Sunday-school  superintendent, 
Aaron  P.  Lawrence. 

North  Presbyterian  church.  —  A  commission  of  Rochester  presbytery  or- 
ganised this  church  on  Tuesday  evening,  February  12th,  1884.  Thirty-nine 
persons  presented  letters  from  various  churches,  and  thirty-one  after  the  usual 
examinations  as  to  personal  experience  and  purposes.  These  seventy  were 
then  con.stituted  the  "North  church  of  Rochester."  Three  persons  were  then 
elected  and  formally  ordained  elders :   Isaac  Bower,  George  W.  Davison  and 

17 


252  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

Frank  H.  Clement.  This  church  began  as  a  Sabbath-school,  conducted  by 
earnest  workers  of  the  Central  church,  under  the  efficient  leadership  of  William 
A.  Hubbard,  in  1869.  The  first  meetings  were  held  in  a  school-room,  then  in 
a  chapel  erected  in  1874,  and  it  is  expected  that  ere  long  an  edifice  will  be 
built  to  meet  the  demands  of  the  increasing  congregation  and  Sunday-school. 
The  nearest  Presbyterian  place  of  worship  is  that  of  the  ]5rick,  which  is  a  mile 
and  a  quarter  distant. 

The  officers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  Peter  Lindsay,  graduate  of  Auburn 
seminary,  who  began  his  labors  on  the  third  Sabbath  of  December,  1883; 
elders  —  Anson  W.  Pond,  George  W.  Davidson  and  Frank  H.  Clement. 

Reformed  Presbyterian  church.  —  An  organisation  with  this  corporate  title 
dates  to  the  year  1835,  with  a  membership  of  twenty-nine.  The  first  place  of 
meeting  was  the  High  school  building,  on  the  corner  of  Temple  and  Lancaster 
streets.  Subsequently  an  edifice  was  erected  on  the  intersection  of  Stillson 
and  Main  streets,  which,  after  long  occupancy,  was  sold  for  business  purposes, 
and  the  proceeds  put  into  a  structure  larger  and  more  commodious  on  North 
St.  Paul  street,  near  Andrews. 

The  pastors  have  been  as  follows :  Rev.  John  F"isher,  a  native  of  Ireland, 
and  preacher  of  marked  ability ;  he  lived  but  a  short  time,  and  is  buried  in  Mt. 

Hope. Rev.  G.  B.  McKee  was  installed  in   1835,  and  resigned  in    1842; 

his  remains  also  repose  in  Mt.  Hope. Rev.  David  Scott,  a  native  of  Scot- 
land, graduate  of  the  University  of  Glasgow,  came  to  America  in  1829,  suc- 
ceeded Mr.  McKee  in  1844,  resigned  in  1862,  and  died  at  Alleghany,  Penn- 
sylvania, March  29th,  1 87 1,  after  an  honored  and  useful  life  of  seventy-seven 

years. Rev.  R.  D.  Sproule,  native  of  Alleghany,   Pennsylvania,  graduate 

of  Jefferson  college  and  Alleghany  seminary,  was  installed  in  1863,  and  after 
a  successful  ministration  resigned,  and  is  now  pastor  of  the  Presbyterian  church 
in  Providence,  R.  V. Rev.  John  Graham,  native  of  New  York  city,  gradu- 
ate of  the  University  of  Penn.sylvania,  and  the  Reformed  Presbyterian  sem- 
inary;  installed  over  the  church  June  26th,  1881. 

The  officers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  John  Graham  ;  elders —  Hugh  Rob- 
inson, Robert  Aiton,  James  Campbell,  Robert  Wilson,  Abram  Ernisse  and 
Robert  K.  Toas. 

First  United  Presbyterian  church.  —  The  way  being  prepared  by  the 
preaching  of  Rev.  John  Van  Eaton  in  1843,  on  the  21st  of  September,  1849, 
an  organisation  was  perfected  under  the  title  of  the  "First  Associate  Reformed 
church  of  Rochester."  On  the  20th  of  May,  1858,  the  Associate  Reformed 
Presbyterian  church,  and  the  Associate  Presbyterian  church  of  North  America, 
effected  an  organic  union  under  the  corporate  title  of  the  "  United  Presbyterian 
church  of  North  America,"  hence  the  present  name  of  the  "First  United  Pres- 
byterian (U.  P.)  of  Rochester."  The  first  place  of  worship  was  a  school-house 
that  stood  near  St.  Luke's  Episcopal  church  on  Fitzhugh  street,  then  an  edifice 


The  Presbyterian  Churches.  253 

on  Troup  street  and  Plymouth  avenue,  which,  being  consumed  by  fire  Septem- 
ber 8th,  1850,  purchase  was  made  January  1st,  1851,  of  the  'church  edifice  on 
tile  corner  of  Court  and  Stone  streets.  Worship  was  there  lield  till  the  build- 
ing was  sold  and  purchase  was  made  from  the  Free  Will  Baptists  of  their  build- 
ing on  Allen  street,  near  I'^itzhugh,  which  has  become  too  strait,  and  must  ere 
long  give  place  to  a  larger  and  more  commodious  building  in  order  to  meet 
the  wants  of  the  growing  congregation  and  demands  of  the  enlarging  church. 

The  pastors  have  been  as  follows:  Rev.  John  Van  Eaton,  D.  D.,  native  of 
Xenia,  Ohio,  and  graduate  of  Miami  university  and  Oxford  seminary,  com- 
menced the  pastorate  of  this  church  of  his  founding  in  1849.  Driven  away 
by  the  ill  health  of  himself  and  family  he  went  to  York,  N.  Y.,  where  he  was 
pastor  for  twenty-six  years;  a  man  of  unwonted  ability  ;  his  death  on  March 
5th,  1880,  was  a  cause  of  great  grief  to  his  parishioners  and  community  at  large. 
A  useful  volume  on  several  of  the  minor  prophets,  published  since  his  death, 

illustrates  his  scholarship  and  ministerial  fidelity. Rev.  W.  P.  McAdams 

was  pastor  three  years  and  then  retired  to  private  life. Rev.  Thomas  Boyd 

occupied  the  pulpit  for   four  and  a  half  years  and  is  now  pastor  of  Bethel  and 

Beulah   churches  in   Pennsylvania. Rev.  James  Patterson  Sankey,  U.  D., 

native  of  Londonderry,  Ohio,  graduate  of  PVanklin  college,  located  at  New 
Athens,  Ohio,  and  Allegheny  United  Presbyterian  theological  seminary,  located 
at  Allegheny  City,  Penn.,  was  placed  in  charge  of  this  church  by  the  presby- 
tery of  Caledonia,  June  30th,  1864.  A  pastorate  of  twenty  years,  with  no  in- 
timation by  the  people  that  he  should  leave,  but  wholly  in  the  other  direction, 
is  the  highest  proof  of  his  usefulness  and  of  his  well-deserved  favor  in  his 
parish  and  by  the  entire  city. 

The  officers  in  1884  are:  Pastor,  Rev.  James  P.  Sankey,  D.  D.  ;  elders  — 
Robert  Sterritt,  Thomas  Lisle,  James  Hutchison  and  John  Bamber.  Sunday- 
school  superintendent,  the  pastor. 

Several  ministers  and  missionaries  have  gone  from  the  Presbyterian  churches 
of  Rochester :  Jonathan  S.  Green,  Sandwich  islands ;  F.  De  Wilton  Ward, 
D.  D.,  India;  Henry  Cherry,  India  ;  T.  Dwight  Hunt,  Sandwich  islands;  James 
Ballentine,  L.  Merrill  Miller,  D.  D.,  Ogdensburgh  ;  Henry  E.  Peck,  Charles  G. 
Lee,  P'rederick  M.  Starr,  Everard  Kempshall,  D.  D.,  Elizabeth,  N.  J. ;  William 
N.  McCoon,  Charles  R.  Clarke,  California;  Henry  B.  Chapin,  Ph.D.,  N.  Y.  ; 
Robert  Proctor,  George  Dutton,  M.  L.  R.  P.  Hill,  G.  Parsons  Nichols,  D.  D., 
Binghamton  ;  Horace  H.  Allen,  Daniel  Ames,  Charles  R.  Burdick,  Peter  H. 
Ikirkhardt,  Elisha  M.  Carpenter,  Nathan  M.  Chapin,  Lemuel  Clark,  Darwin 
Chichester,  Hiram  W.  Congdon,  Philo  G.  Cook,  Henry  Cooper,  David  Dickey, 
Morvatt  Evarts,  William  C.  F"rench,  D.  D.,  Cleveland,  John  K.  Fowler,  Mer- 
ritt  Galley,  Corlis  B.  Gardner,  Alanson  C.  Hall,  Augustus  F.  Hall,  Gavin  L. 
Hamilton,  Parsons  C.  Hastings,  Ph.  D.,  Alvan  Ingersoll,  Thomas  H.  Johnson, 
George   W,    Mackie,   David    E.    Millard,    Enoch  K.  Miller,   Henry  T.   Miller, 


254  History  or  the  City  of  Rochester. 

David  H.  Palmer,  James  H.  Phelps,  James  S.  Pierpont,  Augustus  C.  Shaw, 
D.  D.,  John  Spink,  A.  D.  White,  WiiUam  C.  Wisner,  D.  D.,  Edwin  S.  Wright, 
D.  D.,  Worthington  Wright,  Albert  G.  Hall,  D.  D.,  Hezekiah  B.  Pierpont, 
Richard  De  Forest,  T.  Reaves  Chiprnan,  Samuel  Hayliss,  Jonathan  Copeland, 
Gavin  Langmuir,  D.  D.,  Charles  H.  Wood,  Charles  Ray,  C.  M.  Torrey,  Dillis 
D.  Hamilton,  George  S.  Bishop,  George  Kemp  Ward,  John  Middleton,  I'red- 
erick  J.  Jackson,  Willis  C.  Gaylord,  Theodore  B.  Williams,  David  F.  Stewart, 
Edward  C.  Ray,  Eugene  G.  Cheeseman,  James  W.  White.^ 

Of  others  not  ministers  who  have  gone  as  foreign  missionaries,  Henry  A. 
De  Forest,  M.  D.,  Syria ;  Mrs.  Delia  Stone  Bishop  Sandwich  islands ;  Mrs.  A. 
De  Forest,  Syria;  Mrs.  Maria  Ward  (Chapin)  Smith,  Syria  ;  Mrs.  Janet  Cam- 
eron, Africa. 

The  total  membership  of  the  eleven  Presbyterian  churches  of  Rochester  in 
the  spring  of  1884  was  4,585;  total  Sunday-school  membership,  4,620 ;  total 
contributions  to  the  church  boards  and  miscellaneous  charities  for  the  year 
ending  April,  1884,  $18,416;  congregational,  general  assembly  and  other 
church  purposes,  $50,423  ;  sum  total,  $68,839. 

THE   EPISCOPAL   CHURCHES. 

St.  Luke's  church. — The  organisation  of  this  parish  was  effected  through 
the  efforts  of  Rev.  H.  U.  Ondcrdonk  on  the  14th  of  July,  18 17.  At  that 
date  the  original  corporators —  S.  Melancton  Smith,  Moses  P.  Belknap,  Wil- 
liam Y.  Greene,  Jesse  Moore,  A.  G.  Dauby,  John  P.  Comparet,  Anson  House, 
Daniel  Hibbard,  Jacob  Howe,  Elisha  Johnson,  Jonah  Brown,  Caleb  Ham- 
mond, Jabez  Wilkinson,  Joseph  Thompson,  William  Atkinson,  Samuel  J.  An- 
drews, John  C.  Rochester,  John  Mastick,  Silas  O.  Smith,  Roswell  Babbit,  Enos 
Stone,  Oliver  Culver,  John  P.  Sheldon,  Daniel  Tinker,  Lewis  Jenkins,  H.  Mont- 
gomery, Joseph  Spencer  and  Joseph  Griffin  —  held  a  meeting  in  a  school-house 

1  Rev.  A.  G.  Hall,  U.  D.,  Rev.  W.  C.  Wisner,  1).  D.,  Rev.  R.  De  Forest,  Rev.  Henry  E.  I'eck, 
Rev.  C.  Gardner  have  been  (the  last  is)  Rochester  city  pastors. 

Note.  —  The  First,  lirick,  Central  and  St.  Peter's  are  four  of  the  most  expensive  and  imposing 
edifices  in  the  city.  The  Third,  having  sold  theirs  to  the  Unitarians,  are  arranging  to  builil  upon  the 
corner  of  East  avenue  and  Meigs  street.  The  other  four  are  commodious,  equal  to  the  present  wants 
of  their  localities,  but  will,  in  due  time,  give  place  to  others  of  larger  iliinensions  ami  more  cmnmand- 
ing  appearance. 

Rev.  George  G.  Sill,  native  of  Silltown,  Conn.,  came  to  Rochester  in  1815,  was  licensed  and  or- 
dained by  the  presbytery  of  Rochester,  from  1825  to  1845,  preached  in  Rochester  and  neighborhood, 
edited  the  Rochester  ObseiTer  (the  first  religious  newspaper  in  Western  New  York),  compiled  an<l 
published  a  verse  book  of  .Scripture  for  Sunday-schools,  and  died  at  Lyme,  Conn.,  May  20th,  1859. 

In  the  year  1830  Rev.  Charles  G.  Finney  made  his  first  visit  to  Rochester,  preaching  in  the  First, 
Second  and  Third  churches,  with  heaven-endowed  power  and  marvelous  results.  To  this  master  in 
logic,  eloquence  and  fearlessness  of  spirit  Rochester  is  greatly  indebted,  under  God,  for  its  moral  and 
religious  eminence. 

As  Presbyterianism  was  first  to  occupy  the  ground  when  Rochester  was  but  a  "clearing,"  sur- 
rounded by  dense  forests,  so  it  has  ever  held  its  own  in  numbers,  character  and  influence,  making  itself 
felt  for  good,  the  city,  land  and  world  over. 


The  KriscoPAL  Churches.  255 

owned  by  Samuel  J.  Andrews  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  when  Colonel  N. 
Rochester  and  Sanuicl  J.  Andrews  were  elected  wardens;  Silas  O.  Smith,  Ros 
well  Babbit,  John  Mastick,  Lewis  Jenkins,  Elisha  Johnson,  John  C.  Rochester, 
William  Atkinson  and  Oliver  Culver  were  chosen  vestrymen.  Occasional  ser- 
vices were  held  for  the  parish  by  Rev.  Messrs.  Onderdonk,  Norton  and  Welton, 
in  the  school-house  on  the  lot  adjoining  the  present  church  site.  In  1818  Bishop 
Hobart  made  his  first  visit  to  the  infant  parish,  and  in  the  building  then  occu- 
pied by  the  First  Presbyterian  society  administered  the  rite  of  confirmation  to 
four  persons.  In  1820  the  first  church  edifice  was  erected  on  lot  number  85, 
which  was  given  by  the  proprietors  of  the  One-hundred-acre  tract.  It  was  a 
long  wooden  structure,  in  size  thirty-eight  by  forty-six  feet,  and  contained  about 
forty  pews.  The  funds  for  the  erection  of  this  building  were  provided  by  a 
subscription  in  which  the  following  entries  appear :  N.  Rochester,  in  lumber, 
$200  ;  William  Cobb,  in  blacksmithing,  twenty-five  dollars  ;  William  Haywood, 
in  hats,  twenty  dollars ;  Ebenezer  Watts,  in  tinware,  ten  dollars ;  E.  Peck  & 
Co.,  in  books  and  stationery,  twenty  dollars;  Jehiel  Barnard,  in  tailoring,  five 
dollars ;  H.  Scrantom,  in  flour,  seven  dollars ;  Abner  Wakelee,  in  shoes,  ten 
dollars  ;  Jacob  Gould,  in  goods,  ten  dollars.  The  following  additional  subscrip- 
tions were  contributed  toward  the  erection  of  a  steeple  or  cupola ;  A.  Reynolds, 
in  goods  or  brick,  five  dollars  ;  D.  D.  Barnard,  in  cider  and  apples,  five  dollars  ; 
Timothy  Bosworth  in  combs,  five  dollars  ;  Ephraim  Moore,  "  in  pork  out  of  my 
shop,"  five  dollars.  The  little  church  was  occupied  for  the  first  time  on  Christ- 
mas day,  1820.  Rev.  Francis  H.  Cuming,  deacon,  first  served  as  rector,  hav- 
ing entered  upon  his  duties  on  the  first  Sunday  of  December,  1820,  and  some 
two  months  later  the  church  was  consecrated  by  Bishop  Hobart. 

In  1823  the  growth  and  prosperity  of  the  church  had  been  such  that  the 
building  could  no  longer  accommodate  the  largely  increased  attendance.  Con- 
sequently, in  September.  1823,  the  vestry  entered  into  a  contract  with  H.  T. 
McGcorgc  to  build  a  stone  church  fifty-five  feet  by  seventy-three,  at  a  con- 
tract price  of  $9,000.  The  actual  cost,  however,  was  $10,400.  The  old  frame 
structure  was  moved  to  the  rear  of  the  lot  and  work  begun  on  the  new  build- 
ing in  the  latter  part  of  1823.  The  church  was  opened  for  public  worship  Sep- 
tember 4th,  1825,  and  on  the  30th  of  September,  1826,  the  ceremony  of  con- 
secration was  performed  by  Bishop  Hobart. 

After  a  successful  rectorship  of  eight  years,  Mr.  Cuming,  in  March,  resigned, 
and  was  succeeded  by  Henry  J.  Whitehouse,  who  was  instituted  by  Bishop 
Hobart,  August  29th,  1830.  Dr.  Whitehouse  resigned,  May  1st,  1844,  after  a 
successful  pastorate  of  nearly  fifteen  years,  and  subsequently  acquired  a  national 
reputation  as  bishop  of  Illinois.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Thomas  C.  Pitkin, 
who  took  charge  of  the  parish  July  14th,  1844.  In  consequence  of  ill  health 
Dr.  Pitkin  resigned  the  rectorship  July  12th,  1847.  I"  the  following  October 
a  call  was  extended  to  Rev.  Henry  W.  Lee,  which  he  accepted  and  was  insti- 


2$6  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

tilted  by  Bishop  De  Lancey  on  the  i6th  of  P'ebriiary,  1848.  While  rector  of 
this  church  he  was  honored  with  the  titles  of  D.  D.  and  LL.  D.,  and  his  pros- 
perous ministry  of  seven  years  terminated  December  24th,  1854,  in  consequence 
of  his  election  to  the  bishopric  of  Iowa,  and  previous  consecration  to  that 
office  October  18th,  1854.  Rev.  Benjamin  Watson  was  chosen  his  successor 
and  entered  upon  his  duties  on  the  29th  of  the  following  April.  Dr.  Watson 
having  resigned  July  23d,  1859,  he  was  succeeded  by  the  Rev.  R.  B.  Cla.xton, 

D.  D.,  who  was  elected  rector  on  the  ist  of  October,  and  instituted  by  Bishop 
De  Lancey  on  the  20th  of  the  following  February.  Dr.  Claxton  resigned  on 
the  1st  of  October,  1865,  to  accept  the  chair  of^professor  of  pulpit  eloquence 
and  pastoral  care  in  the  divinity  school  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal  church  in 
Philadelphia.  On  the  23d  of  April,  1866,  Rev.  Henry  Anstice  was  called  to 
the  rectorship  and  on  the  second  Sunday  of  May  entered  upon  his  duties. 
During  the  first  year  of  his  ministry  the  interior  of  the  church  was  thoroughly 
remodeled  and  refitted,  the  congregation  in  the  meantime  worshiping  in  the 
First  Presbyterian  church.  Saint  Luke's  was  reopened  for  divine  service  March 
lOth,  1867,  and  the  institution  of  the  rector  by  the  bishop  of  the  diocese  took 
place  on  the  14th  of  the  same  month.  The  officers  for  the  present  year  are  as 
follows:  Rector,  Rev.  Henry  Anstice,  D.  D. ;  wardens  —  G.  H.  Perkins,  James 
Brackett ;  vestrymen  —  J.  A.  Eastriian,  William  Eastwood,  E.  W.  Williams, 
Clinton  Rogers,  Lorenzo  Kelly,  Alfred  Ely,  A.  J.  Johnson,  Byron  Holley. 

St.  Paul's  church. — This,  the  second  Episcopal  parish  in  Rochester,  was 
organised  May  28th,  1827,  at  a  meeting  presided  over  by  Rev.  Francis  H. 
Cuming,  rector  of  St.  Luke's.  William  Atkinson  and  Giles  Boulton  were 
elected  wardens,  and  Elisha  Johnson,  Elisha  B.  Strong,  Jared  N.  Stcbbins,  S. 
M.  Smith,  Enos  Stone,  Samuel  J.  Andrews,  Daniel  Tinker  and  A.  B.  Curtiss, 
vestrymen.  Rev.  Sutherland  Douglas  was  the  first  rector,  having  been  called 
in  April,  1828,  and  resigning  on  account  of  ill  health  in  August  of  the  follow- 
ing year.  The  brick  church  edifice,  then  in  process  of  erection,  was  completed 
and  consecrated  by  Bishop  Hobart  in  August,  1830.  Rev.  Chauncey  Colton 
became  rector  in  November  of  that  year,  resigning  in  December,  1831,  when 
he  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  H.  V.  D.  Johns,  who  preached  but  once  and  was 
in  turn  succeeded  by  Rev.  Burton  H.  Hickox.  Mr.  Hickox  remained  from 
1832  to  1835,  when  Rev.  Orange  Clark.  D.  D.,  was  called.  Dr.  Clark  con- 
tinued as  rector  for  a  period  of  four  years  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  Washing- 
ton Van  Zandt,  in  1839,  who  remained  but  one  year  and  six  months. 

About  this  time  the  parish  became  involved  financially,  and  a  mortgage  of 
$10,000  was  foreclosed,  which  led  to  the  dissolution,  of  Saint  Paul's  and  the 
formation  of  a  new  corporation  to  buy  the  property  under  the  name  of  "  Grace 
church."  During  the  long  vacancy  which  ensued,  occasional  services  were 
supplied  by  professors  from  Geneva,  until  June  12th,  1842,  when  Rev.  William 

E.  Eigenbrodt  became  rector,  remaining  until  December,  1843.     On  the  25th 


The  Episcopal  Churches.  257 

of  July,  1847,  tlie  church  building  was  destroyed  by  fire.  Services  were  held 
in  the  old  High  school  on  Clinton  street,  until  Christmas  of  that  year.  The 
new  church  edifice  was  consecrated  as  Grace  church  December  17th,  1848.  Un- 
der the  auspices  of  the  bishop  the  parish  had  been  served  for  three  months  by 
Rev.  Stephen  Douglas  and  later  by  Rev.  John  V.  Van  Ingen,  D.  D.  The  lat- 
ter was  elected  rector  in  1848.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Maunsell  Van 
Rensselaer,  who  was  elected  in  September,  1854,  and  whose  term  of  office  ex- 
tended to  Easter,  1859.  He  was  followed  by  Rev.  Israel  Foote,  who  entered 
upon  the  rectorship  August  1st,  1859.  Dr.  Foote,  after  an  incumbency  of 
twenty-three  years,  resigned  the  rectorship,  to  take  effect  April  17th,  1882,  and 
was  succeeded  by  Rev.  W.  H.  Piatt,  D.  D.,  LL.  D.,  who  was  called  to  the  rec- 
lorsliip  September  i6tli,  1882. 

The  present  officers  of  the  church  are  as  follows:  Rector,  W.  H.  Piatt, 
D.  D.,  LL.  D. ;  wardens —  A.  G.  Yates,  William  H.  Sanger;  vestrymen  —  H.  H. 
Warner,  E.  F.  Woodbury,  Frank  W.  Elwood,  W.  C.  Dickinson,  H.  M.  Ells- 
worth, James  L.  Hatch,  C.  H.  Amsden  and  A.  Erickson  Perkins. 

Trinity  church. — The  movement  to  establish  this  parish  was  inaugurated 
in  1836  by  Rev.  Henry  J.  Whitehouse,  then  rector  of  St.  Luke's.  Services 
were  held  by  Rev.  Vandevoort  Bruce,  who  became  rector  January  26th, 
1846,  in  a  school-house  on  Brown  square,  and  later  in  school  number  5  at 
the  corner  of  Center  and  Jones  streets.  The  corner-stone  of  a  church  building 
on  the  corner  of  Frank  and  Center  streets  was  laid  June  13th,  1846,  and 
opened  for  divine  service  on  Christmas  eve  of  that  year.  Mr.  Bruce  resigned 
the  rectorship  of  the  parish  May  12th,  1847,  ^"d  was  succeeded  by  Rev. 
Charles  D.  Cooper,  in  October  of  the  same  year.  During  his  administration 
the  debt  was  entirely  paid  and  the  church  consecrated  by  Bishop  De  Lancey 
]<"ebruary  15th,  1848.  Mr.  Cooper  resigned  December  loth,  1849,  after  an 
incumbency  of  fifteen  years,  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  Robert  J.  Parvin,  who 
assumed  the  rectorship  February  1st,  1850,  and  resigned  August  12th,  1852. 
Rev.  Addison  B.  Atkins  became  rector  October  1st,  1852,  remaining  about  two 
years,  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  George  N.  Cheney,  who  took  charge  of  the 
parish  October  ist,  1854,  remaining  until  May  ist,  1863,  when,  in  con.sequence 
of  impaired  health,  he  resigned.  During  this  year  the  church  was  enlarged 
and  improved  and  Rev.  John  W.  Clark  was  called  to  the  rectorship.  He 
entered  upon  his  duties  on  the  6th  of  December,  1863,  but  remained  only  a 
short  time,  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  John  V.  Van  Ingen,  D.  D.,  who  labored 
in  the  parish  until  July  ist,  1868.  After  a  vacancy  of  eight  months  Rev. 
Charles  H.  W.  Stocking  took  charge  of  the  parish  on  the  ist  of  March,  1869. 
Mr.  Stocking  remained  until  December,  1871,  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  M. 
R.  St.  J.  Dillon-Lee,  January,  1872.  He  officiated  until  October,  1873,  and 
was  followed  by  Rev.  C.  J.  Machin,  who  remained  until  January,  1875.  Rev. 
W.  W.  Walsh   assumed   the   rectorship  May   ist,    1875,  and  is  the  present  in- 


258  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

cumbent.  On  the  17th  of  April,  1880,  the  church  property  was  sold  and  soon 
after  the  present  site  of  the  church  and  rectory  was  purchased.  Ground  was 
broken  for  the  erection  of  a  new  house  of  worship  on  the  23d  of  June,  1880, 
the  corner-stone  being  laid  by  Bishop  Coxe  on  the  29th  of  July,  and  the 
church  opened  for  divine  service  on  the  31st  of  July  in  the  following  year. 

The  present  officers  are  as  follows :  Rector,  Rev.  Warren  W.  Walsh ;  war- 
dens—  George  Arnold,  William  H.  Cross;  vestrymen  —  H.  W.  Davis^  F.  G. 
Ranney,  F.  S.  Upton,  John  H.  Bishop,  John  A.  Van  Ingen,  James  H.  Kelly, 
William  Boyd,  John  G.  Mason. 

Christ  church. — This  parish  was  organised  on  the  7th  of  May,  1855,  by 
a  number  of  parishioners  of  St.  Luke's,  with  a  few  from  St.  Paul's.  The 
meeting  was  held  in  Palmer's  block,  and  the  following  officers  were  elected : 
Wardens — Silas  O.  Smith  and  David  Hoyt ;  vestrymen — Andrew  J.  15rackett, 
D.  B.  Beach,  D.  M.  Dewey,  John  P^airbanks,  J.  M.  Winslow,  Charles  R.  Babbit, 
Delos  Wentworth  and  Edward  M.  Smith.  The  present  site  of  the  church  was 
purchased  in  June,  1855,  and  the  building  erected  in  the  latter  part  of  the  same 
year.  Rev.  Henry  A.  Neely  was  the  first  rector,  and  entered  upon  his  duties 
October  ist,  1855.  Mr.  Neely  continued  rector  until  1862,  when  he  resigned, 
becoming  chaplain  of  Hobart  college,  afterward  taking  charge  of  Trinity  chapel. 
New  York,  and  subsequently  being  consecrated  bishop  of  Maine  on  the  25  th  of 
January,  1867.  Rev.  Anthony  Schuyler,  D.  D.,  was  his  successor  and  entered 
upon  the  duties  of  the  rectorship  October  ist,  1862,  remaining  until  1868. 
Rev.  Walton  W.  Battershall  became  rector  January  1st,  1869,  continuing  in  this 
relation  until  August  ist,  1874.  He  was  followed  by  Rev.  Joseph  L.  Tucker, 
February  17th,  1875.  Mr.  Tucker's  ministry  was  terminated  by  his  resigna- 
tion, to  take  effect  October  15th,  1877.  The  present  rector.  Rev.  W.  D'Or- 
ville  Doty,  was  called  October  isth,  1877,  and  assumed  the  rectorship  on  the 
2d  of  December,  of  the  same  year. 

The  officers  for  the  present  year  are  as  follows:  Rector,  Rev.  W.  D'Orville 
Doty,  D.  D. ;  wardens  —  J.  Moreau  Smith,  D.  M.  Dewey;  vestrymen  —  J.  H. 
Nellis,  S.  V.  McDowell,  E.  W.  Osburn,  John  A.  Davis,  J.  A.  Biegler,  A.  C. 
Walker,  W.  J.  Ashley  and  F.  A.  Ward. 

Church  of  the  Good  Shepherd.' — During  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Dr.  Clax- 
ton,  of  St.  Luke's,  a  mission  of  that  parish  was  established  and  a  building  erected 
in  which  services  were  held  for  the  first  time  July  31st,  1864.  The  parish  was 
organised  into  an  independent  church  by  Rev.  Henry  Anstice,  rector  of  St. 
Luke's,  March  29th,  1869.  Rev.  Jacob  Miller,  who  had  been  ministering  in  the 
congregation  for  twenty  months  as  assistant  to  Mr.  Anstice,  was,  on  nomina- 
tion by  the  latter,  elected  the  first  rector.  Upon  his  resignation  in  September, 
1869,  Rev.  J.  Newton  Spear  was  called,  but  he  soon  resigned  on  account  of  ill 
health.  Rev.  James  S.  Barnes  next  entered  on  the  field.  May  ist,  1870,  but 
left  within  six  months.      Rev.  Frederick  W.  Raikes  accepted  the  charge  Decern- 


The  Episcopal  Churches.  259 

ber  iSth,  1870,  and  after  a  ministry  of  two  years  resigned  April  1st,  1873.  He 
was  followed  by  Rev.  Benjamin  W.  Stone,  D.  D.,  who  after  an  incumbency  of 
eight  years  resigned  April  1st,  1881.  Rev.  Byron  Holley,  jr.,  followed  immedi- 
ately as  minister  of  the  church  of  the  Good  Shepherd,  reniaining  in  this  position 
until  June  19th,  1882.  Rev.  James  Stoddard  assumed  the  care  of  the  parish 
August  1st,  1883. 

The  officers  for  the  current  year  are  :  Rector,  Rev.  James  Stoddard  ;  ward- 
ens—  George  Cummings,  John  W.  Attridge ;  vestrymen  —  Thomas  Baxen- 
dale,  Andrew  Erhardt,  J.  N.  LeLievre,  Thomas  Attridge,  George  R.  Hoare, 
Edward  P.  Hart  and  William  Smiley. 

Church  of  the  Epiphany.  —  The  parish  of  the  Epiphany  is  the  outgrowth 
of  cottage  service  held  in  the  winter  of  1866-67,  by  Rev.  Dr.  Anstice,  rector 
of  St.  Luke's.  The  corner-stone  of  a  chapel  was  laid  July  23d,  1868,  and  the 
first  public  services  therein  were  held  February  28th,  1869,  Rev.  W.  W.  Raj'- 
mond  being  then  the  assistant  minister  of  St.  Luke's.  He  was  followed  by 
Rev.  George  S.  Baker,  August  14th,  1870,  and  to  his  ministry  is  largely  due 
the  growth  and  prosperity  of  the  enterprise.  Rev.  C.  M.  Nickerson  succeeded 
Mr.  Baker  November  ist,  1875.  The  parish  was  organised  into  an  independent 
parish  by  Dr.  Anstice,  September  13th,  1876,  and  on  his  nomination  Rev.  Mr. 
Nickerson  was  elected  the  first  rector,  who  remained  in  the  parish  until  Janu- 
ary 1st,  1 88 1.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Amos  Skeele,  who  was  called 
March  21st,  1881. 

The  present  officers  are :  Rector,  Amos  Skeele ;  wardens  —  George  E. 
Mumford,  John  Clements;  vestrymen  —  J.  H.  Stedman,  Jonas  Jones,  H.  C. 
White,  E.  W.  Tripp,  George  H.  Perkins,  J.  C.  Smith,  W.  S.  Oliver  and  Alfred 
L.  Davis. 

St.  James's  church.  —  The  corner-stone  of  this  Episcopal  church  was  laid 
on  the  1 8th  of  July,  1875.  The  missionary  committee  having  charge  of  the 
enterprise  were  John  Morris,  John  Southall,  Charles  S.  Cook  and  William  H. 
Wilkins.  The  first  service  was  held  June  5th,  1876,  at  which  time  the  church 
was  consecrated  by  Bishop  Coxe,  and  Rev.  James  H.  Dennis  began  his  work 
in  the  field.  The  meeting  of  the  members  of  the  congregation  to  incorporate 
themselves  was  held  August  17th,  1876,  at  which  Rev.  James  H.  Dennis  was 
elected  the  first  rector. 

The  present  officers  are  as  follows:  Rector,  Rev.  J.  H.  Dennis;  wardens  — 
John  Morphy,  John  Nicholson;  vestrymen  —  E.  J.  Shackleton,  Dr.  Hermance, 
J.  Cox,  jr.,  E.  E.  Havill,  William  Sweeting,  E.  Baldwin,  J.  McCullum. 

St.  Andrew's  church.  —  This  parish  had  its  origin  in  the  work  of  a  general 
city  mission  supported  by  the  four  older  parishes  of  the  city  in  1866.  In 
1867  the  parish  of  Christ  church  took  the  mission  under  its  special  care, 
and  during  1870  it  was  in  charge  of  Rev.  Daniel  Flack,  then  the  assistant 
at  Christ  church,  of  which   Rev.  W.  W.  Battershall  was  rector.     A  lot  was 


26o  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

secured  at  the  corner  of  Munger  and  Ashland  streets,  and  the  corner-stone  of 
a  permanent  structure  was  laid  on  the  19th  of  July,  1873.  Rev.  David  A. 
Bonnar  was  elected  rector,  and  preached  the  first  sermon  in  the  completed  por- 
tion of  the  new  church.  In  1877  ^^^  church  property  passed,  through  fore- 
closure of  judgment,  into  the  possession  of  William  B.  Douglas.  The  bishop 
and  standing  committee  having  authorised  the  formation  of  a  new  parish  in  the 
field  formerly  occupied  by  St.  Clement's,  the  organisation  of  St.  Andrew's  was 
effected  February  7th,  1879.  The  first  rector  of  the  parish  was  Rev.  A.  S. 
Crapsey,  who  was  elected  June  1st,  1879.  The  edifice  was  consecrated  by 
Bishop  Coxe  May  i6th,  1880.  The  officers  at  present  are  as  follows:  Rector, 
Rev.  A.  S.  Crapsey;  wardens  —  William  B.  Douglas,  John  J.  Luckett;  vestry- 
men —  Henry  S.  Crabbe,  William  Dove,  Thomas  A.  Evans,  Samuel  L.  Selden, 
Arthur  C.  Smith,  Frederick  Suter,  George  Yeares. 

FRIENDS   OR   QUAKERS. 

A  monthly  meeting  of  Friends  was  held  at  Farmington,  Ontario  county, 
N.  Y.,  on  the  23d  of  the  "eighth  month,"  1821.  Permission  was  granted 
allowing  Friends  of  Rochester,  Riga  and  Henrietta  to  hold  a  preparative 
meeting  at  Rochester,  and  in  accordance  therewith  the  first  meeting  was 
held  at  Rochester  on  the  i8th  of  the  tenth  month,  1 821,  and  Isaac  Colvin  was 
appointed  clerk  for  the  day.  The  meetings  were  to  be  held  on  the  first  and 
fifth  days  of  each  week  under  the  care  of  the  following  committee  :  Stephen 
Durfee,  David  Baker,  Sunderland  Patterson,  Nathaniel  Walker,  Asa  Douglass 
and  Peter  Harris.  James  Whippo  and  Mead  Atwater  were  designated  to  pro- 
pose some  Friend  as  clerk.  Aldrich  Colvin  and  Erastus  Spaulding  were  ap- 
pointed to  provide  some  suitable  house  for  worship  and  discipline.  The  com- 
mittee above  named  reported,  and  Thomas  Congdon  was  appointed  clerk  on 
the  20th  of  the  twelfth  month,  1821.  The  committee  also  reported  upon  a  lot 
and  in  favor  of  building  a  meeting- house,  the  total  cost  for  a  lot  four  rods  by 
eight  rods,  including  building  the  meeting-house,  being  $1,050,  and  of  buying 
a  burying-ground  —  village  lot  175  Frankfort,  sixty-six  feet  front  by  two  hun- 
dred feet  deep,  owned  by  Aldrich  and  Isaac  Colvin — which  could  be  had  for 
$80.  Harvey  Frink  was  appointed  clerk  for  one  year.  On  the  14th  of  the 
eleventh  month,  1822,  the  first  meetings  were  held  at  Aldrich  Colvin's  house. 
The  house  of  worship,  to  be  used  also  for  a  school-house,  was  built  on  the  east 
side  of  North  Fitzhugh  street,  near  Allen,  and  completed  in  the  autumn  of 
1822,  at  a  cost  of  $350. 

A  division  or  separation  took  place  in  the  New  York  yearly  meeting  of 
Friends  in  the  year  1829  —  and  one  branch  was  styled  "orthodox"  and  the 
other  was  called  by  many  "Hicksites,"  and  those  names  still  exist.  Among 
the  names  of  early  members  of  the  society,  prior  to  the  division,  who  belonged 
to  the  Rochester  meeting,  we  find,  in  addition   to  those  already  mentioned : 


The  Baptist  Churches.  261 

John  Russell,  Win.  Lawton,  Abram  Staples,  Zaccheus  Aldridge,  Wm.  Rath- 
bone,  Silas  Cornell,  Joseph  Cox  and  wife  Dorothy,  Ezra  Scofield,  Samuel 
Fairwcll,  Darius  Shadbolt,  Benjamin  Fish,  Thomas  and  Elizabeth  Bills,  John 
Ireland,  Hugh  Pound,  Henry  Case,  Wm.  Griffin,  Elihu  F.  Marshall,  Silas  An- 
thony, Jonathan  Warner,  Gilbert  Titus,  Jacob  Thorn,  Barnabas  Colman,  Abram 
Wilson,  Lars  Larson,  Wm.  Green,  Philip  Lyell,  Oley  Johnson,  Daniel  Batty, 
Job  Batty,  Seth  Macy,  Wm.  Macy,  Jacob  Bell,  John  Edgeworth,  David  Bell. 
After  the  separation  the  Hicksite  branch  occupied  the  original  meeting-house, 
while  the  Orthodox  Friends  built  a  new  one  on  Jay  street.  The  society,  as  it 
would  seem,  has  accomplished  its  usefulness  and  fulfilled  its  destiny,  and  the 
names  of  George  Fox  and  William  Penn  still  remain  bright- and  shining 
lights  of  the  Christian  religion.  There  are  but  very  few  of  the  members  of  the 
society  left  here,  and  those  are  of  advanced  years.  Mary  T.  and  Pamelia  S. 
P'rost,  sisters  of  Harvey  Frink,  who  was  clerk  of  the  Rochester  meeting  in 
1822,  still  reside  in  the  city;  they  maintain  their  interest  in  the  society,  and 
have  a  fresh  remembrance  of  the  events  that  transpired  in  the  early  settlement 
of  Rochester,  over  seventy  years  ago.  A  few  days  since  they  visited  Lake 
View,  the  early  residence  of  Erastus  Spaulding,  who  was  one  of  the  committee 
to  procure  a  suitable  house  for  worship  in  1821.  • 

THE   BAPTIST   CHURCHES. 

The  First  Baptist  church  was  organised  in  the  year  1818,  and  was  then 
called  "the  First  Baptist  church  of  Brighton."  It  had  twelve  constituent 
members,  none  of  whom  are  now  living.-  The  numbers  increased  gradually 
for  the  next  twelve  years,  and  161  were  connected  with  its  membership  in 
1830.  During  the  winter  of  1830-31,  when  the  great  revival  interest  existed 
in  this  city  under  the  wonderful  labors  of  that  eminent  divine.  Rev.  Charles  G. 
Finney,  some  193  persons  were  added,  and  in  1832  some  368  members  were 
enrolled.  The  large  emigration  to  the  western  states  and  the  formation  of  the 
Second  Baptist  church,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  which  followed,  reduced 
the  membership  so  that  in  1835  only  244  remained.  Its  numerical  increase 
was  soon  resumed,  however,  for  in  1844  the  church  contained  530  members. 
P'rom  1 866  to  1 870  its  progre.ss  was  steady,  numbering  at  last  760,  the  largest 
figures  reached  in  its  history.  In  the  year  i866,  185  new  members  were  added. 
In  1871  and  1872  three  new  Baptist  churches — Memorial  (on  Lake  avenue). 
Rapids  and  East  avenue  were  organised;  taking  many  of  the  members  of  the 
church,  which,  with  other  dismissals,  reduced  the  membership  to  545,  which 
has  gradually  increased  to  the  present  time,  1884.  The  church  has  now  en- 
rolled on  its  membership  some  610  members. 

Nine  pastors  and  two  temporary  settlements  have  served  this  church  :  Rev. 
E.  M.  Spencer,  *i  in  the  year  1819;   Rev.  Eleazer  Savage,  1824  to  1826,  three 

1  Four  of  ihe  above  list  are  dead  —  as  indicated  by  asterisks — and  seven  are  living.  Some  of  tliem 
are  now  occupying  very  prominent  positions  as  presidents  of  theological  seminaries,  or  as  editors  or 
publishers  of  denominational  papers. 


262  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

years;  Rev.  O.  C.  Comstock,  D.  D.,*  1827  to  1834,  eight  years;  Rev.  Phar- 
cellus  Church,  D.  D.,  1835  to  1848,  fourteen  years;  Rev.  J.  A.  Smith,  D.  D., 
1849  to  1854,  five  years;  Rev.  Jacob  R.  Scott,  D.  D.,*  1855  to  1858,  three 
years;  Rev.  Richard  M.  Nott,*  1859  to  1865,  seven  years;  Rev.  G.  W.  North- 
rop, D.  D.,  supplied  the  pulpit  one  year;  Rev.  Henry  E.  Robbins,  D.  D., 
1867  to  1872,  six  years;  Rev.  A.  H.  Strong,  D,  D.,  supplied  one  year;  Rev. 
Charles  J.  Baldwin,  1874- to  1884,  ten  years.  The  clerks  of  the  church  have 
been  as  follows:  Myron  Strong,  for  four  years;  H.  B.  Sherman,  for  six  years; 
E.  S.  Treat,  for  seven  years  ;  David  Burbank,  one  year  ;  Dr.  H.  W.  Dean,  three 
years  ;  J.  A.  Stewart,  seven  years.  The  following  deacons  (some  of  them  of 
honored  memory)  have  passed  away :  Amos  Graves,  Ira  Sperry,  Isaac  Tinney, 
Oren  Sage,  Geo.  S.  Shelmire,  John  Watts,  John  Jones,  H.  L.  Achilles,  Edwin 
Pancost,  H.  P.  Smith,  E.  F.  Smith,  Myron  Strong,  H.  N.  Langworthy,  H.  W. 
Dean,  A.  G.  Mudge. 

The  present  deacons  are:  Alvah  Strong,  William  N.  Sage,  L.  R.  Satterlee, 
J.  O.  Pettingill,  S.  A.  Ellis,  A.  H.  Cole,  Matthew  Massey,  Cyrus  F.  Paine  and 
A.  H.  Mixer.  The  first  two  —  Alvah  Strong  and  William  N.  Sage  —  have 
been  members  of  the  church  nearly  fifty-four  years.  The  present  board  of  trus- 
tees consists  of  Ezra  R.  Andrews,  president ;  Z.  F.  Westervelt,  G.  D.  Hale, 
J.  W.  Warrant,  C.  A.  Morse,  B.  P.  Ward,  Lewis  Sunderlin,  A.  L.  Barton  and 
T.  De  Puy.  Charles  T.  Converse  is  the  present  treasurer.  Between  $300,000 
and  $400,000  have  been  contributed  for  benevolence  and  building  of  houses 
of  worship  during  the  past  fifty  years. 

The  Sabbath-school  superintendents  have  been  :  Myron  Strong,  one  year ; 
Rev.  E.  Savage,  one  year ;  Rev.  Zenas  Freeman,  two  years ;  H.  L.  Achilles, 
two  years ;  EUery  S.  Treat,  one  year  ;  George  Dawson,  one  year ;  Edwin  Pan- 
cost,  seven  years ;  William  N.  Sage,  ten  years ;  James  T.  Griffin,  two  years ; 
A.  R.  Pritchard,  five  years;  L.  R  Satterlee,  three  years;  A.  G.  Mudge,  six 
years ;  S.  A.  Ellis,  four  years ;   A.  H.  Cole,  ten  years. 

The  church  first  met  after  its  organisation  in  a  small  school-house  (number 
I )  located  where  Rochester  Free  academy  now  stands.  It  was  then  removed 
to  the  old  court-house  and  sometimes  met  in  the  jury  room.  In  1827  the 
church,  being  a  feeble  band  and  considered  of  no  political  importance,  was  turned 
out  by  the  sheriff  in  obedience  to  the  directions  of  the  board  of  supervisors. 
The  members  removed  to  Col.  Hiram  Leonard's  ball-room  over  a  stable  in  the 
rear  of  the  old  Clinton  House  and  there-remained  until  1828,  when  they  pur- 
chased of  the  Rochester  Meeting-House  company  a  wooden  structure  on  State 
street,  in  which  previously  the  First  and  Second  Presbyterian  churches  had 
worshiped.  This  was  located  near  where  the  American  express  company's  build- 
ing now  stands,  on  State  street.  Five  members  of  the  church  —  Deacon  Oren 
Sage,  Deacon  Myron  Strong,  Zenas  Freeman,  H.  L.  Achilles  and  Eben  Griffith 
—  gave  their  notes  for  $1,500  for  the  purchase  and  then  spent  about  $1,000  in 


The  Baptist  Churches.  263 

improving  the  same,  and  the  church  there  remained  until  they  moved  to  their 
building  on  Fitzhugh  street  in  the  year  1839. 

The  first  building  on  Fitzhugh  street  was  built  of  stone,  at  a  cost  of  about 
$18,000.  It  was  considered  a  model  of  beauty,  as  well  as  of  convenience,  at 
that  time.  But  opinion  changed  very  much  in  subsequent  years.  That  build- 
ing was  enlarged  in  the  year  1852,  by  extending  it  thirty  feet  and  adding  gal- 
leries, at  an  expense  of  some  $10,000.  It  remained  in  this  shape  till  the  year 
1868,  when  the  necessity  for  more  room  for  the  Sabbath-school  and  social 
meetings  of  the  church  was  so  manifest  that  additional  land  was  purchased,  and 
the  rear  part  of  the  present  structure  was  erected,  at  an  expense  of  $53,034.- 
75.  In  the  year  1875  the  foundations  of  the  front  building  were  laid,  and 
during  the  following  year  the  entire  building  was  completed,  at  an  expense  of 
$74,836. 1 1,  which,  with  cost  of  ground  and  rear  part,  makes  the  entire  amount 
$140,000  invested  in  the  present  building.  This  is  a  model  of  beauty,  and 
one  of  the  finest  church  structures  in  the  state. 

The  Second  Baptist  church  was  organised  March  I2th,  1834.  For  two 
years  prior  thereto  the  subject  had  been  variously  agitated  among  the  mem- 
bers of  the  First  Baptist  church  of  forming  another  church,  on  the  east  side  of 
the  river.  It  was  not  until  the  26th  day  of  February,  1834,  that  the  project 
was  fully  begun,  and  on  that  date  letters  of  dismission  were  granted  to  fifty- 
six  persons,  who  formed  the  constituent  members  of  the  new  church.  At  this 
time  a  proposition  was  made  by  the  Third  Presbyterian  church  to  sell  their 
house  of  worship,  located  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Main  and  Clinton  streets, 
where  the  Washington  hall  block  now  stands.  It  was  a  stone  and  wooden 
structure  with  a  steeple  and  belfry.  The  first  meeting  of  the  new  church  and 
society  was  held  on  April  8th,  1 834,  when  the  following  trustees  were  elected  : 
H.  L.  Achilles,  S.  Lewis  (first  class) ;  Daniel  Haight,  John  Culver  (second 
class) ;  D.  R.  Barton  (third  class).  On  the  17th  of  April  following,  in  accord- 
ance with  the  previous  arrangements,  the  Third  Presbyterian  church  transferred 
their  meeting-house  to  the  new  church  for  the  sum  of  $6,600,  nearly  the  whole 
amount  being  subscribed  by  about  twenty  members.  On  the  night  of  Decem- 
ber loth,  1859,  this  house  of  worship  was  consumed  by  fire. 

After  much  consideration  the  site  of  the  present  church  edifice,  on  the  cor- 
ner of  North  avenue  and  Franklin  and  Achilles  streets,  was  purchased  April 
lOth,  i860,  for  $5,400,  the  present  edifice  being  erected  thereon  at  an  ex- 
pense of  $40,000;  it  is  capable  of  seating  1,200  people.  It  was  furnished  and 
dedicated  in  1862.  In  the  interim,  service  had  been  held  in  Palmer's  block 
(East  Main  street),  and  part  of  the  time  in  the  Third  Presbyterian  church.  In 
1848  the  church  suffered  a  loss  of  several  members,  in  the  organisation,  by 
Rev.  Charles  Thompson,  of  the  Tabernacle  Baptist  church,  which  was  then 
organised,  and  by  whom  an  edifice  was  erected  on  St.  Paul  street,  near  An- 
drews, where  the  Jewish  synagogue  now  stands.     The  organisation  did  not 


264  History  of  the  City  of  Rochester. 

prove  strong  enough  to  live,  and,  after  a  brief  struggle,  the  church  was  sold  to 
the  Hebrews.  In  November,  1871,  ninety-eight  members  were  lost  by  the 
forming  of  the  East  avenue  Baptist  church,  which  had  been  conducted  as  a 
mission  school  for  several  years  by  the  Second  Baptist  church.  The  Second 
Baptist  church  has  now  a  membership  of  642  members.  Rev.  S.  W.  Duncan, 
D.  D.,  is  the  present  pastor.  Of  the  constituent  members  onh'  three  survive  — 
Mrs.  Sarah  M.  Barton,  Mrs.  Dorcas  Miller  and  Mrs.  Emeline  Sheik,  all  resi- 
dents of  this  city.  The  ordinance  of  baptism  was  first  administered  July  13th, 
1834,  Ebenezer  Titus  and  Martha,  his  wife,  being  the  candidates. 

The  church  has  had  eleven  pastors,  and  of  these  but  four  are  now  living:^ — 
Rev.  G.  D.  Boardman,  D.  D.,  of  Philadelphia,  Pa. ;  Rev.  T.  Edwin  Brown,  D. 
D.,  of  Providence,  R.  I.  ;  Rev.  J.  H.  Gilmore,  professor  in  the  University  of 
Rochester,  and  the  present  pastor.  Rev.  Dr.  Duncan.  The  first  pastor  was 
Rev.  li^lon  Galiisha,  who  took  the  pastorate  in  May  following  tlie  organisation 
of  the  church,  for  a  period  of  three  years.  He  died  at  Brockport  January  4th, 
1856.  Rev.  Elisha  Tucker  was  installed  the  second  pastor,  January  1st,  1837. 
He  resigned  in  1841,  removed  to  New  York,  and  died  in  1853.  The  third  pas- 
tor was  Rev.  V.  R.  Hotchkiss,  who  came  from  Pulteney,  Vermont,  April  26th, 
1842,  and  remained  until  October  1st,  1845,  when  he  accepted  a  call  to  a 
church  in  Fall  River,  Mass.  Rev.  Charles  Thompson  became  the  fourth  pastor 
of  the  church,  January  i8th,  1846,  and  remained  but  a  short  interval,  when  he 
organised  the  Tabernacle  church  of  Rochester.  The  fifth  pastor  was  Rev. 
Henry  Davis,  who  remained  but  a  year,  from  1849  to  1850.  Rev.  G.  W. 
Howard,  D.  D.,  commenced  his  labors  as  the  sixth  pastor  of  the  church  in  the 
autumn  of  185  i  ;  after  a  pastorate  of  six  years  he  removed  to  Chicago,  and 
then  to  New  Orleans,  where  he  died  in  1863.  Dr.  G.  D.  Boardman  assumed 
the  pastoral  charge  in  October,  1856,  occupying  the  same  for  eight  years,  when 
he  was  called  to  preside  oyer  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia,  where 
he  is  still  successfully  ministering.  Rev.  Joseph  H.  Gilmore  was  installed  as 
the  ninth  pastor  on  October  9th,  1865,  but  resigned  in  1867  to  accept  a  pro- 
fessorship in  the  university.  The  tenth  pastor  was  the  Rev.  T.  Edwin  Brown, 
D.  D.,  who  came  from  the  Tabernacle  Baptist  church  of  Brooklyn,  and  assumed 
the  pastoral  charge  on  Novemb